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The Chief of Staff of the Portuguese Air Force pays official visit to the Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón

Torrejon AFB, Madrid
December 12, 2022
  • The Chief of Staff of the Portuguese Air Force was able to learn first-hand about the Alliance's capabilities and resources managed from the Centre

The Chief of Staff of the Portuguese Air Force, General João Guilherme Rosado Cartaxo Alves, accompanied by the Head of Cabinet, Major General Sérgio Roberto Leite Da Costa Pereira, has paid his first official visit to the Combined Air Operations Centre at Torrejón.

Upon his arrival at the CAOCT, General Alves was received by the Commander-in-Chief of the Unit, Lieutenant General Fernando de la Cruz, and the Director of Operations, Brigadier General Fernando Costa of the Portuguese Air Force.

The Chief of Staff of the Portuguese Air Force greeted the force, composed of CAOCT staff, NATO Communications and Information Agency ("NCIA") staff and members of the various National Support Elements (NSE) represented at the Centre. Afterwards, General Alves signed the book of honour and  had a brief working session.

The CAOCT Commander-in-Chief presented the mission and capabilities of the centre to the Portuguese general, explaining how the centre operates and the coordination of the resources transferred by the nations to the CAOC Torrejón for the management of air incidents that take place in the area of responsibility.

During the presentation, the General explained the role of CAOCT regarding its contribution to the constitution of the Joint Force Air Component (JFAC) in crisis or conflict situations for the planning, development and execution of air missions in accordance with the directives of the Joint Force Commander (JFC). Regarding this point, General De la Cruz detailed the additional effort carried out by CAOCT for the protection of airspace over the last few months.

Following the presentation, General De la Cruz accompanied General Alves on a tour around CAOCT facilities, which included visits to the operations room, National Support Elements and NATO's Communications and Information Agency (NCIA).

Combined Air Operations Centre-Torrejón

The main mission 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 as well as to the National Support Element (NSE) and the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA).