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07 4 2014

Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejon reaches final implementation

On 3 July, a Ceremony was held at the Torrejon Air Force Base, Madrid, Spain to attest the finalization of the implementation process of the Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejon (CAOC TJ).

"The CAOC has now assumed responsibility for all operations in NATO Airspace from the Canary Islands to Hungary, from the Azures to Turkey," Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) GEN Philip M. Breedlove stated at the ceremony. In addition present at the Ceremony were Deputy Commander AIRCOM LGEN Dominique de Longvilliers, the Spanish Chief of Staff of Defence, Admiral Fernando Garcia Sánchez, and MGEN Rubén C. García Servert, Commander CAOC TJ.

The CAOC incorporates previously separated air control elements, a modernization which significantly increases the efficiency of Command & Control for air operations and has reduced the number of CAOCs in Europe from seven to two in recent years. The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency has supported CAOC TJ during its implementation and validation process, and continues to provide close support to the CAOC through its CIS Support Unit in Torrejon. At the ceremony the NCI Agency's General Manager was represented by Mr Enzo Montalti, the NCI Agency Programme Director for Air Command & Control.

In his speech at the ceremony MGEN Rubén García Servert, Commander CAOC TJ praised the team effort and highlighted the value of the CAOC. "The CAOC relies on CIS and technologies and the NCI Agency supports us with this. We are satisfied with the support that we continue to receive", MGEN Servert said.

Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejon reaches final implementation

The NCI Agency CSU Torrejon Commander LTC Rafael Sanchez Alfonso highlighted his satisfaction with the new milestone for CAOC TJ and underlined the continued support provided by his team. LTC Alfonso said after the Ceremony, "Our presence at Torrejon enables us to respond to our customer. Despite the challenges of this high demanding task we will continue to provide the technical support to our customer to the best of our abilities."

The high level representation of NATO VIPs attending the ceremony underlined the importance of the achievements of the CAOC since its activation in January 2013. During the Ceremony, SACEUR was awardedthe Grand Cross of Merit (la Gran Cruz del Mérito Aeronáutico) in recognition of his permanent support to CAOC TJ in the implementation phase.

While CAOC TJ is responsible for the NATO airspace South of the Alps, CAOC Uedem, also supported by the NCI Agency, is in charge of the area North of the Alps. Besides a Static Air Defence Centre that conducts the 24/7 NATO Integrated Air Defence, the CAOCs also feature a Deployable Air Operations Centre each; the latter is used to supplement HQ AIRCOM when it stands up the Air Component that provides command and control for NATO air forces during an operation or an exercise.