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Periodista del EMAD

First Eagle Eye activation of 2024

February 9, 2024
  • The aim is to integrate the capabilities of the Air and Space Forces, the Army and the Navy into the national air defence system.

Malaga, Motril and the Alboran Sea will host the first 'Eagle Eye' activation of the year from 12 to 16 February. It will be led by the Operational Aerospace Command under the operational control of the Operations Command.

The aim of the Eagle Eye activation is to integrate the capabilities of the Air and Space Forces, the Army and the Navy into the national air defence system, in order to improve efficiency in the execution of presence, surveillance and deterrence operations.

Six Eurofighter C.16 from the 14th Wing (Albacete) will take part in a QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) mission on behalf of the Spanish Air and Space Forces. To carry out the assigned air surveillance functions, 56 military personnel from this unit, including crews and maintenance and support personnel, will be deployed at the Malaga Air Base. The Central Command and Control Group (GRUCEMAC), located at the Torrejón Air Base, will be in charge of airspace surveillance. For this task, GRUCEMAC will use the data provided by the different Air Surveillance Squadrons and by the ground and naval capabilities.

The Air Operations Centre is the command and control centre during activation. Tactical control for surveillance, air policing and airspace defence operations are carried out from this centre.

As for the Army, the 'Hercules' Air Defence Unit (UDAA) will be deployed in the municipalities of Motril, Salobreña and Torrenueva Costa. It will provide anti-aircraft defence, complementing the surveillance of national sovereign airspace. This UDAA is generated on the Anti-aircraft Artillery Command (MAAA) and led by the Anti-aircraft Artillery Group (GAAA) I/74 (San Roque, Cádiz). It is made up of HAWK, NASAMS, MISTRAL anti-aircraft weapon systems and 35/90 guns.

Regarding the Navy, the frigate 'Cristóbal Colon' will work in the waters of the Alboran Sea to integrate itself within the air defence system, providing surveillance and anti-aircraft defence capabilities. It will complement the coverage of the Air Surveillance Squadrons and the deployed Anti-aircraft Artillery Unit. This frigate belongs to the F-100 series and is the fifth of the 'Álvaro de de Bazán' class. Its AEGIS combat system, coupled with the SPY-1D multifunction radar, provides it with a high air defence capability. The multi-role frigate is optimised to act as a command and control vessel in high and medium intensity scenarios. It is capable of operating integrated into an allied fleet and to provide coverage for expeditionary forces.

This mobilisation of resources represents an opportunity to put into practice the interoperability and integration of the capabilities of the Air and Space Forces with those of the Navy and the Army. In this way, the joint integration of all capabilities and the efficiency of the national air defence system are improved, thus guaranteeing the tasks of presence, surveillance and deterrence, which are carried out 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in the national airspace.