The Club’s 2016 overseas Field Trip took place from Sunday, 02 October through Thursday, 06 October visiting Granada and Malaga.
During the planning stage, and throughout the time we spent in Granada, the Spanish Training and Doctrine Command (MADOC) provided an effective liaison framework with the Artillery Club, which greatly assisted our endeavours. Of particular significance was the advice, guidance and support we received from Major Fernando Fuentesal from our arrival on 02 October through to our departure on 5 October for Malaga.
Under the auspices of MADOC, the Group experienced Granada’s impressive architectural and religious heritage by visiting the palace and fortress complex of Alhambra, the notable Granada Cathedral and the impressive Royal Chapel. The Group also benefitted from transport provided by MADOC.
The Artillery Club was honoured to be accorded a formal reception in MADOC Headquarters at Calle San Matias, Granada. The Group was received by the Secretary-General’s (Chief MADOC) representative: Major-General Arturo Garcia-Vaquero Pradal. An Artillery Officer, since 2013, he is in charge of the Directorate of Investigation Doctrine Structures and Materiel, Doctrine Command, Army.
Major-General García-Vaquero Pradal presented a copy of Hugo O’Donnell’s all embracing publication “The Irish Presence in the Spanish Military – 16th to 20th Centuries” to all attendees. The Club’s President presented an engraved Dublin Crystal Bowl to MADOC.
Major Fernando Fuentesal’s wide-ranging brief on MADOC’s impressive outputs supporting the Spanish Armed Forces, provided the Group with a comprehensive understanding of the extensive activities of MADOC – “Leading our Army to Victory”. This was followed by refreshments.
During lunch in the Burlaero Restaurant, the President presented Major Fuentesal with the Club’s plaque and Club tie.
The Club secured a special overnight rate at the NH-Hesperia Hotel in Granada. An elegant old building with an unbeatable location, right in the historic heart of Granada, the hotel was only a short walk to the city’s most popular tourist spots.
On Wednesday 05 October, the Group relocated to Malaga for one overnight availing of special rates at the Hotel MS Maestranaza. MS Maestranza Málaga is in central Málaga, just 100 metres from Malagueta Beach. The hotel is set next to the bullring and the Alameda Gardens. Members of the Group visited the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle.
The Group’s Hail and Farewell followed an enjoyable meal in El Pimpi Restaurant. The Committee remains grateful to Commandant Michael Flood (Retd) for the planning, coordination and execution of this memorable and most enjoyable Field Trip – next year Lisbon.