Ministry of Defence logo Defence Staff logo
Periodista del EMAD

Medal ceremony at the Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón

Torrejón Air Base
June 29, 2022
  • The ceremony was presided over by the Commander of the CAOC TJ, Lieutenant General Fernando De la Cruz

The Commander of NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre in Spain (CAOC TJ), Lieutenant General Fernando De la Cruz, presided over the military ceremony in which decorations of various kinds were awarded to national and foreign personnel assigned to the Centre.

In addition to Lieutenant General De la Cruz, the Greek Air Force Brigadier General Evangelos Tzikas and the Portuguese Air Force Brigadier General Fernando Costa took part in awarding the medals.

Among others, the Spanish Air Force Cross of Aeronautical Merit, the Queen Elisabeth II 70 anniversary medal, the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, the SACEUR recognition award, the COMAIRCOM recognition award and the  COMCAOC recognition award were presented

As stated in their respective regulations, these rewards constitute recognition of merit in the line of duty and their presentation constitutes an act of the utmost relevance within the NATO environment. It means a great satisfaction for those who receive them and an example for the rest of the colleagues, as well as a stimulus for the military organization of which they are part.

After the presentation of decorations, General De la Cruz addressed a few words to all the awardees and highlighted the honour that each award entails, not only individually but also collectively since it means confirmation of the success of the mission carried out at the Combined Air Operations Center.

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).