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Students of the XLV National Defense Course visit Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón

Torrejón AFB, Madrid
November 19, 2021
  • 42 students and three teachers visited the centre as part of the activities programmed for the course organized by CESEDEN

Students of the XLV edition of the National Defence course, led by Major General Miguel Ballenilla y García de Gamarra, director of the Armed Forces College, visited this morning the NATO Combined Air Operations Centre in Spain, CAOC Torrejón.

Upon arrival, the delegation was received by the Commander, Lieutenant General Frenando De la Cruz Caravaca.

After welcoming the participants, General De la Cruz made a presentation of the Unit in the conference room, where he explained the mission and activities of the centre within the framework of its two main tasks: surveillance of the airspace of southern Europe and contribution to the constitution of a Joint Force Air Component (JFAC) for the management of crisis situations.

The students visited the operations room, where they were able to see in situ how the CAOC operates in the fulfilment of its mission.  

The National Defence Course, organized by the Centro Superior de Estudios de la Defensa Nacional- Higher Centre for National Defence Studies (CESEDEN), aims to promote and raise awareness of defence culture among authorities and senior civilian officials of the State Administration and people of relevance in political, economic and social life, provoking reflection on the main aspects of national security and defence.

CAOC Torrejón is the only centre of the NATO Command structure in Spain and this visit is is one of the objectives of the course, being its purpose to provide civilian officials with a closer vision of the participation of the Spanish Armed Forces in the Atlantic Alliance as well as the Spanish responsibility in NATO.

Combined Air Operations Centre-Torrejón

The main mission of CAOC-Torrejón, under the direct command of 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.

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 as well as in the National Support Element (NSE) and the NATO Communications and Information Agency Unit (NCIA).