Ministry of Defence logo Defence Staff logo
Periodista del EMAD

The Belgian ambassador to Spain visits the Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón (CAOC TJ)

Torrejón Air Base
July 18, 2022
  • The ambassador thanked CAOC’s Commander for the permanent effort that is being made in the collective defence of the airspace of the Atlantic Alliance

The Belgian Ambassador to Spain, Gerard Cockx, along with his Minister Counsellor, Jose de Pierpont, visited the NATO Combined Air Operations Centre in Spain (CAOC TJ).

The Belgian delegation was welcomed by the commander of the unit, Lieutenant General Fernando de la Cruz. After the ambassador's signature in the book of honour, General de la Cruz made a presentation of the mission and its capabilities of the centre to the delegation. Next, CAOC’S deputy commander, Portuguese General Fernando Costa, explained how the centre operates when real air incidents occur in the area of responsibility, as well as the coordination of resources transferred by the nations to the CAOC Torrejón in this type of situations.

The visit ended after the Belgian flag hoisting to commemorate Belgium National Day.

During his speech, General de la Cruz thanked the Belgian representative for his country's commitment to defending the interests of the Alliance since its foundation.

The Belgian ambassador thanked CAOC’s Commander for the invitation to participate in the celebration of the Belgian National Day. He highlighted how important it is for the security of European citizens to have the guarantee of an air space monitored at all times by NATO, a task carried out by the CAOC Torrejón. The ambassador also thanked Spain for its firm commitment to defending the common interests shared with the allied countries.

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).