German Ambassador to Spain, Maria Margarete Gosse, accompanied by her Defence Attaché, Colonel Markus Bungert and a delegation from the German Embassy, was welcomed this morning at the Torrejón Combined Air Operations Center (CAOCT) by Lieutenant General Fernando de la Cruz on the occasion of the celebration of Germany's National Day.
The delegation has first held a working meeting with CAOC’s Commander. After the ambassador signed on the Unit's Book of Honour, General De la Cruz made a presentation of the Centre's mission and capabilities. Said presentation was completed with the exposition of several incidents that served to explain the Alliance's way of operating in case of any unexpected event that compromises the security of the airspace in the area of responsibility.
After the work agenda, the German National Day was celebrated, which commemorates the anniversary of German reunification in 1990.
In the military ceremony the traditional raising of the flag was carried out and, later, the authorities addressed a few words to the personnel involved.
During his speech, General De la Cruz congratulated the Ambassador and the German community of the CAOC for the celebration of their National Day. The General thanked Germany for its contribution to the air surveillance mission that is permanently carried out under the command of the CAOC on the southern flank of Europe to reinforce the security of the airspace.
The German Ambassador stressed that reunification represented the change towards a much more secure political situation in Central Europe, which allowed the prosperity of other European countries. "NATO guarantees the security and prosperity of Europe in the transatlantic region in the same way", said the Ambassador in her speech, in which she also made reference to the summit recently held in Madrid and the new strategic concept of comprehensive defence agreed by NATO on the occasion of this summit. The Ambassador ended her speech by thanking all the CAOC personnel for their permanent work guaranteeing the security of Europeans citizens.
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).