Aerial Warfare

NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control (AWACS) Participating in Nordic Response 24

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NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control (AWACS) Participating in Nordic Response 24

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NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control (AWACS) Participating in Nordic Response 24
NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control (AWACS) Participating in Nordic Response 24

NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control (AWACS) takes part in Exercise Nordic Response 24 from February 26 to March 15. The team of 15 different NATO nations will operate the two E-3A aircraft out of the airbase in Rygge, Norway. The E-3A aircraft is often referred to as NATO’s ‘eyes in the skies’. This is due to its capability to detect air and sea movements hundreds of kilometres away. This data is shared with NATO commanders to provide them with a shared understanding of activities that take place in areas of particular concern. But there is another highly valuable role that the men and women normally based in Geilenkirchen, Germany, are providing. They serve as airborne battle managers who coordinate other forces, including Allied fighter aircraft, to retain control of Allied airspace.

“The strategic role of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force cannot be overstated. We can showcase this in a large scale, multi-domain scenario like Exercise Nordic Response 24, showing our determined ambition to dominate the airspace and defend the Alliance”, said ??Air Commodore Andrew Turk, NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander.

Exercise Nordic Response 24 is part of the Steadfast Defender 24 series of exercises, the largest in decades. For the first time NATO is setting new defence plans into reality proving their executability and NATO’s warfighting transformation. This marks a new era of collective defence and proves NATO Allies’ solidarity, unity and strength.
The exercise has clearly demonstrated NATO’s ability of rapid, transatlantic reinforcements and the execution of multi-domain operations over several months across Europe. From the Arctic to the Eastern Flank of the Alliance over 90,000 forces from 31 Allies have taken part in the exercise and conducted effective defensive operations.

The NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control Force (NAEW&CF) is located on NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen. NAEW&CF has two units with operational capability: The NATO E-3A Component in Geilenkirchen, Germany, with 14 E-3A aircraft, and the former E-3D Component of the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the United Kingdom. RAF personnel crewed six E-3D aircraft until 2021. The NAEW&CF Headquarters is responsible for providing direction and guidance to the Force, oversees Force policies and delivers leadership support and expertise to the Force Commander. The NAEW&CF is commanded on a rotational basis by either a US Air Force or a German Air Force Major General.

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