From August 21 to 28, 2020 a NATO AWACS aircraft will deploy to Krakow, Poland to join a binational training event of Alliance members Poland and the United States. Working closely together with the Polish Control and Reporting Centre, the AWACS crew will support the Polish and US fighter aircraft by providing exercise air command and control. Based at Geilenkirchen Air Base in Germany, NATO’s fleet of 14 AWACS aircraft conducts a wide range of operations – including flights in support of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, as well as Operation Sea Guardian.
On December 3 and 4, 2019 the leaders of all 29 NATO members met in London to take decisions to further strengthen and modernise the Alliance. In support of a successful event AWACS aircraft from NATO’s Airborne Early Warning and Control Force conducted air surveillance missions in the airspace of the United Kingdom, to provide situational awareness.The two involved aircraft took off from both homebases of NATO’s Airborne Early Warning and Control Force: from Geilenkirchen, Germany and from Waddington, United Kingdom.
The AWACS involvement in exercise “Aviation Detachment Rotation 20-4” is a long planned activity, involving flights over Allied territory. It is part of and mandated under NATO’s Assurance Measures, implemented in 2014 after Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea. These measures are in place to assure the Alliance’s eastern members of NATO’s commitment and solidarity, as well as to deter any possible aggression against NATO members.
The AWACS aircraft can constantly monitor the airspace within a radius of several hundred kilometers and can exchange information in near real-time via digital data links, providing a valuable contribution to the security of the event. AWACS aircraft can be employed for a variety of tasks, such as airspace surveillance and early detection of airborne threats, providing a radar picture of ongoing activities at sea or the command and control of other NATO air assets.