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Periodista del EMAD

Celebration of Bulgaria's National Day at Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejon

Torrejón AFB, Madrid
February 28, 2022
  • Officials from the Bulgarian Embassy to Spain, attended the ceremony

The Ambassador of Bulgaria to Spain, Aleksey Andreev, accompanied by the Counsellor for Political Affairs, Albena Gfeller, and the Counsellor for Cultural Affairs, Desislava Petrova, visited this morning the NATO Combined Air Operations Centre in Spain (CAOC TJ).

They were welcomed on arrival at the CAOC by the unit's Commander, Lieutenant General Fernando de la Cruz. After the Ambassador's signature in the Book of Honour and a brief briefing, General De la Cruz made a presentation of the centre to the Bulgarian delegation.

This was followed by the military ceremony with the flag-raising in commemoration of the Bulgarian National Day.On behalf of the CAOC TJ, the General thanked Bulgaria for its contribution to the permanent air police mission carried out by the CAOC to reinforce the security of the airspace on the southern flank of the Alliance.

The Commander also wished to highlight the support provided by Bulgaria to the mission of the Spanish air tactical detachment "Strela", currently deployed at the Graf Ignatievo air base, which operates four ALA 14 Eurofighters and a total of 130 troops in the framework of the Enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission.     

During his speech, the Bulgarian Ambassador underlined the importance of the work carried out by the CAOC in the collective defence of the Alliance's interests on a permanent basis. The ambassador also thanked Spain for its firm commitment to the Allies, as evidenced by the recent deployment of troops to Bulgaria as part of the Enhanced Air Policing mission.

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).