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Periodista del EMAD

Torrejón Combined Air Operations Center Commander visits Türkiye

In Türkiye
January 22, 2024
  • Lieutenant General Juan Pablo Sanchez has met with the highest authorities of the Turkish Air Force.

The Commander of the Combined Air Operations Center of Torrejón (CAOC TJ), Lieutenant General Juan Pablo Sánchez de Lara, has visited Türkiye. He has met with the highest authorities of the Turkish Air Force (TURAF) and has been able to know first hand the activities they carry out, especially regarding their mission within NATO.

The first stop was Ankara where General Sanchez de Lara was received by the Chief of Staff of the TURAF, General Ziya Cemal Kadioğlu, at his General Headquarters. Both authorities had the opportunity to discuss various topics of interest related to the Turkish contribution to NATO and to comment on different aspects of the present and future of Turkish military aviation, which were later also discussed with his General Staff.

He then proceeded to Eskişehir, where the TURAF Air Combat Command (ACC) is located in the vicinity of Eskişehir. The lieutenant general met with ACC Chief General Ismail Güneykaya and his second in command, Lieutenant General Ismail Üner, then visited the command and control facilities held by the TURAF.

Of particular interest was the work and missions of Turkish personnel in its air operations center (AOC) and, above all, its Joint Air Command (JFAC), which will be certified by NATO at the end of this year to participate in the Allied Reaction Force (ARF) in 2025. It should be noted that this last structure is only present in seven NATO air forces: Türkiye, United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, which, led by the Combat Air Command, is part of the ARF throughout 2024 and until June 2025.

Finally, the CAOC TJ commander was able to meet various tactical air units based at Eskişehir Air Base N. 1, namely the 111 Squadron (with F4 Phantom aircraft) and the 311 Squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

The interest of this trip was based on Türkiye's decisive contribution to NATO activities, and specifically to its Integrated Air and Missile Defense System (NATINAMDS), in addition to supporting NATO's AWACS deployments (command and control aircraft) and contributing its capabilities to reinforce the Air Police mission in northern and southern Europe, as for example with the deployment of F-16 fighters in Romania since December 2023.