Major General Alvarez del Manzano has been the Commander of the NHQS and the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia* Senior Military Representative since his arrival on the 11th March. He lead the OPERATION ALLIED HARMONY during a month and then he transfered the tactical responsibilities to the EU military mission.
He was born in Zaragoza. He graduated from the Academia General Militar and was commissioned, as First Lieutenant, in 1968.
In his early years of Infantry officer he attended various Courses among them The Mountain Warfare, The Special Operations and the Paratrooper courses.
As Senior Officer he attended the Spanish Army Staff Course and the French War College.
Fluent in English and French, he has experience in operational planning and International Relations.
He has served in many Army Units and Army Joint Staff positions. The most relevant were as follows:
- High Mountain Troops Platoon leader.
- Instructor in the special Forces School.
- Company commander in the Spanish Foreign Legion, 1975 Sahara Operations.
- Staff Officer in the FAR Division HQ and Army General Staff HQ.
- Commander of the 103 Special Operation Unit.
- United Nations Observer in Angola, UNAVEM 1.
- Operations Officer in the Army Staff Operations Center.
- Balkans Staff Officer in the Partnership for Peace Coordination Cell (NATO).
- Chief of Staff of the Spanish Rapid Reaction Force, then a component of NATO RRF.
- Director of the High Mountain and Special Forces School.
- Head of the National Military Representation to SACEUR in SHAPE (NATO).
- Chief of the Spanish Delegation in USCENTCOM HQ for operation Enduring Freedom.
- Military assistant to the Army Chief of Staff.
- Senior Military Representative and Commander of NATO HQ's Skopje.
Major General Alvarez Del Manzano's decorations and awards include the Combat Zone Sahara Medal, four of the S. Hermenegildo Military Order, Air Medal, United Nation UNAVEM Angola Medal and five Military Merit Medals.
He has been appointed as Commander of the Spainish Rapid Reaction Force and will assume his new responsibilities when back in his country.
*Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.