The annual conference of NATO's southern flank nations' Warning and Control Centres was held this year at Combined Air Operations Centre at Torrejón (CAOC TJ) on October 6th and 7th.
The conference was opened by CAOC TJ Commander, lieutenant general Fernando de la Cruz Caravaca, and was attended by staff from the centres in his area of responsibility as well as representatives from Austria and Switzerland, the Early Warning Force (NAEW E3A), Air Command (AIRCOM), CAOC Uedem, the Deployable Air Command and Control Centre (DACCC) and the Communications and Information Agency (NCIA).
The conference is aimed at analysing and sharing procedures in the field of air policing and surveillance of the airspace of responsibility. This gathering offers a forum for participating personnel to address issues of concern to nations in this area, as well as to update CAOC TJ air policing procedures.
CAOC TJ's area of responsibility covers a total of 11 million square kilometres and spreads from the Black Sea and the Mediterranean in the East to the Atlantic Ocean in the West, covering the continental strip of the Allied countries.
Since the implementation of NATO's new command structure in 2013, CAOC Torrejón assumes the Tactical Command and Tactical Control (TACOM/TACON) of all subordinate units in NATO's integrated air and missile defence system (NATINAMDS), so that the standardisation of procedures and doctrine are vital for resources optimisation and efficiency in the response for the surveillance and control of the airspace in the area of responsibility.
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 following the directives of NATO's air component command with the assigned assets by NATO in peacetime.
The 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).