Colonel Manuel De La Chica Camúñez is the Director of the Spanish Air Force Academy, in San Javier Air Base, Spain. The Spanish Air Force Academy is Spain’s exclusive and only commissioning source for Spanish Air Force Officers.
Colonel De la Chica earned his commission in 1989, as valedictorian of the 41stth graduating class of the Spanish Air Force Academy. He is a command pilot with more than 3,300 hours in fighter and trainer aircraft.
He has been a jet flight instructor for six years in the Spanish Air Force Academy. He has flown and led combat and combat support missions in multiple theaters and operations in the F-18 and Eurofighter aircraft. He flew from Aviano Air Base, Italy, in the Balkan Conflict in support of Operation Joint Guard (SFOR) in Bosnia Herzegovina and Operation Allied Force and Operation Joint Guardian (KFOR) in Kosovo. He also served at FSB in Herat (ISAF) in Afghanistan and for which he was recognized for his valor.
In addition, the colonel has held staff assignments at every level to include Plans Division at Air Staff and Joint Operations Command. His distinguished career includes time served as staff at the Joint Air Power Competence in Kalkar, Germany.
At present he is the Director of the Spanish Air Force Academy and CO of the San Javier Air Base.
His additional education background includes national courses like: War Pilot, Airplane Observer, Fighter & Attack Pilot, Survival & Evasion, Investigation methodology, Electronic Warfare Officer or General Staff of the Armed Forces and international courses like: NATO Advanced Electronic Warfare, NATO Defence Planning Process Course, Operational planning, NATO Battle Damage Assessment Course, Joint Personnel Recovery Planning Course or NATO Regional Cooperation Course.
His merits have been recognized through various awards and decorations:
- Cruz de San Hermenegildo Medalla
- Encomienda de San Hermenegildo
- Placa de San Hermenegildo
- 4 Cruces del Mérito Aeronáutico
- Cruz al Mérito Militar
- NATO medal for the former Yugoslavia
- NATO medal for Kosovo
- NATO medal for ISAF
- Military Merit Medal of the Republic of South Korea