Ministry of Defence Logo Defence Staff logo
Periodista del EMAD

CAOC Torrejón conmemorates NATO's Air Policing 60th anniversary

Torrejón AFB, Madrid
September 23, 2021
  • The journey was attended by staff representing the 17 contributing nations working at the centre

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of NATO's "Air Policing”  permanent mission, Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón (CAOC TJ) has organized a commemorative Day to highlight the solidarity among the members of the Alliance and to enhance the commitment to defence and protection of mutual interests and democratic values advocated by the organization.

The commemorative day began with an address by the head of CAOC Torrejón, Lieutenant General Fernando de la Cruz Caravaca, followed by a minute's silence for the victims of COVID-19 from all countries. Members of the 17 nations represented at the centre then took part in a relay race over a total distance of 60 km, representing the 60-year duration of NATO's airspace surveillance mission known as Air Policing.  

This mission, which is defensive in nature, is carried out with the Alliance's radar and fighter aircraft at its disposal to respond to any possible violation of Allied airspace 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Since 1 July 1961, Alliance nations have been integrating their resources to provide a coordinated, interconnected and collective air defence in NATO's area of responsibility in Europe. This enduring mission continues an ongoing process of adaptation in order to meet future challenges.

NATO's Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón

The main purpose of CAOC Torrejón, commanded by a Spanish Air Force lieutenant general, is to plan, direct, coordinate, supervise, analyse and report on air defence operations in southern Europe, of the assigned assets to it in peace, following the directives of NATO's air component.

Spanish Armed Forces are making an important contribution to the mission conducted by this facility. Roughly 120 military personnel are assigned to the CAOC itself, as well as to the National Support Element (NSE) and the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA).