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Periodista del EMAD

Commander of the Romanian Air Command visits the Combined Air Operations Center Torrejón

Torrejón AFB, Madrid
November 4, 2022
  • General Vrajescu was able to see first-hand the capabilities and resources of the Alliance managed from the Center

General Valerica Vrajescu, Commander of the Romanian Air  Command, accompanied by Colonel Gabriel Giuvara, head of the Air Operations Center, visited this morning the NATO Combined Air Operations Center in Spain (CAOCT).

The delegation was received upon arrival at the CAOCT by Lieutenant General Fernando de la Cruz, Chief Commander of the Center. After the welcome, General De la Cruz made a presentation of the Unit in which he explained the capabilities and resources of the center for the performance of its main mission: the permanent surveillance of the airspace of the allied countries through the network of sensors located on the southern flank of Europe.

General De la Cruz particularly emphasized the involvement of the CAOCT in the management of allied countries' detachments in Romania. He also wanted to underline the excellent work carried out by the Romanian Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) to ensure the security of the allied airspace, in particular since the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation.

The general discussed in his presentation the secondary role of the CAOC in contributing to the establishment of a Joint Force Air Component (JFAC) for the management of crisis situations such as the one in Ukraine.

The presentation of several incidents in the operations room after the general's presentation served to show how the Alliance operates in the case of any unexpected event that compromises the safety of the airspace in the area of responsibility.

General Vrajescu thanked the CAOC personnel for their professionalism in carrying out the mission of permanent surveillance of the southern flank and their contribution to the common goal of the collective defense of the Alliance.

The delegation then visited the bunker, where military personnel explained its capabilities. The visit concluded at the Central Command and Control Group (GRUCEMAC), from where the control of national sovereign airspace is carried out. The data collected by this center (surveillance, detection, identification and classification of aircrafts) are transferred to the CAOC, where they are merged with those received by the other Control and Reporting Centers in the area of responsibility, which covers a total of 11 million square kilometers stretching from the Black Sea and the Mediterranean in the East to the Atlantic Ocean in the West, covering the continental strip of the allied countries.

NATO Combined Air Operations Centre at Torrejón de Ardoz (CAOCTJ)

The main purpose of CAOC Torrejón, commanded by a Spanish Air Force Lieutenant General, is to plan, direct, coordinate, supervise, analyze and report on air defense operations in southern Europe, following the directives of NATO air component command with the means assigned by the nations to NATO in peacetime.

The Spanish Armed Forces are makingan 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).