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Periodista del EMAD

Military event at the Torrejón Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOCT) on the United Kingdom's national day

Torrejón, Madrid
May 4, 2023
  • The ceremony was attended by a representation from the British Embassy, chaired by Ambassador Hugh Elliot

Lieutenant General Juan Pablo Sánchez de Lara, Commander-in-Chief of the CAOC, invited the UK Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliot, to NATO facilities in Spain for a military ceremony to mark UK National Day.

After a brief business meeting between the British Ambassador and the Commander, a simple military ceremony began with the traditional raising of the UK flag.

In his speech, General Sánchez de Lara congratulated the Ambassador and the entire British community on the celebration of their country's National Day, on which St. George, patron saint of England, is also venerated. He also wished to congratulate the entire British community on the imminent coronation of King Charles III, which will take place on Saturday 6 May, 8 months after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The General also thanked the Ambassador for the United Kingdom's assessment of the air surveillance mission and other activities carried out by the CAOCT to reinforce the security of the airspace of allied countries on the southern flank of Europe.

For his part, the British Ambassador thanked the Commander and staff of the CAOCT for the organisation of the event, subscribing to the words of the CAOCT Commander regarding the values that NATO stands for, including solidarity, cohesion, defence of democracy and freedom. The Ambassador emphasised the great support provided by Spain as host nation to the British community present at the Centre.

Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón (NATO)

The main mission of the Torrejón CAOC, under the direct command of a Lieutenant General of the Spanish Air and Space Army, is to plan, direct, coordinate, supervise, analyse and report on air defence operations in Southern Europe, following the directives of the NATO Air Component Command on which it depends and with the resources assigned to NATO by the nations in peacetime.

The Spanish Armed Forces make an important contribution to the mission carried out by this centre. Some 120 Spanish military personnel serve in the CAOC itself as well as in the National Support Element (NSE) and the NATO Communications and Information Agency Unit (NCIA).