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10 4 2023

Guardians of the sky: Captain Rodrigo Escarza

As Guardians of the Sky, operational pilots secure and defend NATO airspace across southern Europe, by identifying unknown aircraft and intervening, if necessary. When Rodrigo Escarza and his team receive a scramble alert, they must be ready to take off in their aircraft in less than 15 minutes.

Their work is enabled by the Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC), which communicates activation orders to the pilots on standby in the barracks. The NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) provides close support to the CAOC through its CIS Support Unit in Torrejon, Spain.