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Periodista del EMAD

The President of the Bulgarian Republic visited the Torrejón Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC TJ)

Torrejón AFB, Madrid
May 3, 2022
  • The President thanked the work carried out by the CAOC TJ and the recent Spanish engagement in the mission 'Enhanced Air Policing'

The President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, visited NATO Combined Air Operations Centre in Torrejón (CAOC TJ) on Friday April the 29th. The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Teodora Dimitrova Genchovska, the Bulgarian Air Force Commander, Major General Dimitar Hristov Petrov, and a delegation from the Bulgarian Embassy in Spain headed by Ambassador Aleksey Andreev.

The delegation was received on arrival at CAOC by the Commander of the Unit, Lieutenant General Fernando de la Cruz, as well as a formation composed of representatives of each of the nations with personnel assigned to the Centre.

After the Bulgarian president signed the book of honour, General De la Cruz made a brief presentation on the capacities and resources of the centre for the performance of its mission in the area of designated responsibility, which covers from the Azores to the Black Sea. The Commander's presentation included examples of real activities.

The Bulgarian President thanked the CAOC commander for the service provided by the centre in the defence of NATO sovereign airspace and, in particular, for the conduct of operations carried out by the Spanish "Strela" air tactical detachment, which recently engaged four Wing 14 Eurofighters in the NATO Enhanced Air Surveillance (eAP) mission from the Bulgarian Graf Igniatevo base. 

Torrejón Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC)

Under the organic command of Allied Air Command within the NATO command structure, CAOCs are responsible for planning, tasking, directing, coordinating and supervising the air operations of aircraft assigned by member nations in their area of responsibility. The Uedem CAOC oversees areas such as Iceland and the Baltic Sea, and the CAOC in Torrejon is responsible for the Black Sea region; both CAOCs work with the corresponding national warning and control centres to fulfil the mission of safeguarding NATO airspace throughout Europe.

The main mission of the Torrejón CAOC, 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 to which it reports and with the means 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 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).