The Pascua Militar ceremony on Thursday. | Jaume Morey

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On Thursday, the commander general in the Balearics, Fernando García Blázquez, highlighted the participation of the armed forces in the distribution of vaccines and the role in accelerating the vaccination of the people of the Balearics.

Speaking on the occasion of the annual Pascua Militar at Palma's Almudaina Palace, García Blázquez underlined the collaboration of the army, air force and navy in contact tracing tasks, which have been "essential" in dealing with the pandemic.

He pointed to the fact that ten armed forces mobile teams will be supporting the vaccination programme and that these will be added to the 100 members of the military who have been involved with tracing.

Regarding future challenges for the armed forces, the commander general highlighted the digital transformation strategy for the operating environment, the need for relationships with other state organisations, the appearance of new threats, and the "effect of technological disruptions".

He drew attention to the Guardia Civil's Operation Insulae IB, which led to the dismantling of a criminal organisation behind burglaries. And he emphasised the coordination between the Guardia Civil, the National Police and the national government delegation in rescuing people at sea, "who, from the migratory flow, are exposed to situations of risk and danger".

The Pascua Militar is a commemoration that was instituted by King Carlos III in 1782 following the recovery of Minorca from the British.