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Periodista del EMAD

CAOC Torrejón commander meets with Albanian officials within the Ministry of Defence

Tirana, Albania
October 21, 2021
  • Bilateral meetings represent a great opportunity for the improvement of joint capabilities and optimization of Alliance resources

Within the framework of the periodic contacts that are made with the allied nations in the area of responsibility of the CAOC Torrejón, the commander of this centre, Lieutenant General Fernando de la Cruz, held bilateral meetings with different authorities of the Albanian Defence structure on 18 and 19 October.

The first of the working meetings took place with the Albanian Minister of Defence, Nico Peleshi, and the Albanian Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Barjam Bergaj.

Afterwards, General De la Cruz moved to the Albanian Air Force Headquarters where, after receiving the corresponding honors, he had a meeting with the Acting Chief of the Albanian Air Force, Colonel Ylli Pulaj. After the meeting, General De la Cruz visited the warning and control centre located at the HQ, where he was briefed on the recent operational capabilities achieved by this centre.

During the meetings, several issues of bilateral interest were discussed, such as the progress made in the integration of the recently acquired radar into NATO's  Integrated  Air  and  Missile  Defence  System  (NATINAMDS), the incorporation of new procedures for the surveillance of sovereign airspace, as well as the requirements for new capabilities of the Albanian Air Force.

The Albanian authorities undertook to continue promoting progress in the development of their capabilities in order to collaborate more actively in the defence of airspace in the southern region of Europe. They also thanked Lieutenant General De la Cruz as NATO representative for his interest in personally getting to know these capabilities and, in particular, for the support offered by the CAOC Torrejón to facilitate the operation of the personnel of the Albanian warning and control centres, with the common objective of providing the most effective air defence for which the Alliance is responsible.


The main mission of the CAOC Torrejón, under the direct command of a Lieutenant General of the Spanish Air Force, is to plan, direct, coordinate, supervise, analyse and report on air defence operations in Southern Europe, following the directives of the NATO Air Component Command on which it depends and with the resources assigned to NATO by the nations in peacetime.

The Spanish Armed Forces make an important contribution to the mission carried out by this centre. Some 120 Spanish military personnel serve in the CAOC itself as well as in the National Support Element (NSE) and the NATO Communications and Information Agency Unit (NCIA).