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Periodista del EMAD

NATO Parliamentary Assembly representatives visit the Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón

Torrejón Air Base, Madrid
July 1, 2022
  • The delegation, headed by its Vice President, has seen first-hand the capabilities and resources of the Alliance managed at the Centre

Members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, as well as personnel from the Congress’ Directorate of Institutional Relations, visited the NATO Combined Air Operations Centre in Torrejón, Spain (CAOC TJ) on Thursday.

The delegation, led by the Vice President of the Assembly, Joëlle Arriaud-Maylam, and the Secretary General, Ruxandra Popa, was received by the Commander of the Unit, Lieutenant General Fernando de la Cruz.

During the visit, General De la Cruz made a presentation of the Unit explaining the capabilities and resources available at the centre for the performance of its main mission, that is, the permanent surveillance of the airspace of the allied countries through the network of sensors arranged on the southern flank of Europe. Next, the general elaborated on the secondary role of the CAOC TJ in his contribution to the creation of a Joint Force Air Component (JFAC) Centre for the management of crisis escenarios. Afterwards, the Commander reviewed other activities also carried out at the Centre and at the end, and from the operations room, he showed how the aforementioned main mission is carried out. 

NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO AP)

Founded in 1955, the Assembly is the interparliamentary organization of the member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as well as 18 other associated countries.

Gerald E. Connolly is the current president after his election in. Its Secretary General is Ruxandra Popa, who has held the position since January 2020.

The assembly constitutes a fundamental forum for parliamentary dialogue on security, political and economic matters. The assembly’s discussions and debates make an important contribution to the development of the consensus that defines NATO's policies.

The assembly’s headquarters is in Brussels, where some 30 permanent employees work, and its meetings are held in the cities proposed by member states. The most important meeting is the General Assembly, which meets twice a year.

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).