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Periodista del EMAD


Balearic Islands
March 27, 2023
  • It has been a demonstration of the integration of the assigned capabilities of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Space to provide security to the area surrounding the Balearic archipelago.

The operational activity 'Eagle Eye 23.01' has demonstrated that the means and personnel assigned to the Aerospace Operational Command (MOA in Spanish) have a high degree of readiness to respond to any air threat. For this purpose, six F18s of the 12th Wing, the Air Surveillance Squadrons, the Central Command and Control Group, the Aerospace Operations Centre, Army resources of the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Command to form the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Unit and the F-105 frigate 'Cristobal Colon' of the Navy have been integrated into the Aerospace Defence System. All under the tactical command of the Aerospace Operational Command and the operational control of the Operations Command.

The Air and Space Army has participated from the Son San Juan Air Base with six F-18s from the 12th Wing in an early warning service, Quick Reaction Alert (QRA). These air defence missions involve an immediate response to the threat, as the aircraft must be in the air within 15 minutes of receiving the alert.

During the Air Policing missions, 12th Wing pilots tested the joint air defence procedures with the Counter-Air Defence Unit (UDAA in Spanish) and the frigate F-105, demonstrating their high degree of training and interoperability, completing 30 air missions, with more than 40 hours of flying time.

An Airbus 400 from the 31st Air Refuelling Wing also took part in this activation. This allowed the fighters to stay in the air longer and to be projected to more distant areas.

In addition, the Air and Space Army has integrated an anti-drone system with the objective of defending the Son San Juan Airport and the Air Base. This system has been complemented by other mobile and deployable systems of the Air Deployment Support Squadron. All of this enables to broaden the range of means in the fight against small, low-altitude and low-speed drone threats.

The 12th Wing personnel, deployed at the Son San Juan Air Base, carried out the coordination of the assigned air assets. This provided an excellent training opportunity for the personnel of the Air Combat Command's Aerospace Operations Centre, from where the MOA Commander exercised command and control of the assigned resources and forces.

Por parte del Ejército del Aire y del Espacio también se han integrado con éxito los controladores de interceptación del Grupo Central de Mando y Control (GRUCEMAC) situado en la Base Aérea de Torrejón. La importancia y complejidad de estas integraciones que el GRUCEMAC realiza de forma habitual suponen un importante esfuerzo y preparación técnica. Un esfuerzo para el que este Centro de Control ha demostrado, una vez más, estar preparado, ya que forman parte de la seguridad aérea los 365 días del año.

The Air and Space Army has also successfully integrated the interception controllers of the Central Command and Control Group located at the Torrejon Air Base. The importance and complexity of these integrations, which are carried out on a regular basis, require significant effort and technical preparation. An effort for which this Control Centre has, once again, shown itself to be prepared. They are part of aviation security 365 days a year.

As planned, the Counter-Air Defence Unit "Jaime I" and the frigate "Cristobal Colon" were integrated to increase the capabilities of the Aerospace Surveillance and Control System, complementing the coverage of the Air Surveillance Squadrons.

The Anti-Aircraft Artillery Unit deployed in Ibiza was the target of simulated fixed-wing aircraft attacks, which increased the realism of the training, making the most of this opportunity to work together.

The Counter-Air Defence Unit Command and Control core personnel have kept the unit integrated in the national Air Defence System with its HAWK and MISTRAL batteries. The Fire Nucleus, with its various means, has participated in the defence of the airspace from its respective settlements. In addition, the Logistical Support has backed up the entire activation from the least visible part: food, health support and deployment logistics, dealing with all the incidents with impeccable efficiency.

Finally, the frigate "Cristobal Colon" has contributed to the surveillance and air defence of the national territory in the waters of the Alboran Sea and the south of the Balearic Islands, thanks to its AEGIS Combat System, its Command, Control and Communications resources, the on-board Intercept Air Controllers and the training and preparation of its crew.

The tactical aircraft controllers at sea of the Air Boat Group of the Navy's Aircraft Flotilla have carried out 9 hours of control of a total of 16 aircraft in 8 missions aimed at the air defence of the assigned area.

A highlight was the visit that King Felipe VI paid to the deployed units, where he was able to see the capabilities of Joint Force Centre 1 of the Aerospace Operational Command and witnessed air defence actions carried out during the activation.

Eagle Eye 23.01' has evidenced the high degree of readiness and availability of the Armed Forces.