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Periodista del EMAD

Visit of the Deputy Commander of the Joint Force Command Naples to the Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejon

At Torrejón Air Base, Madrid
March 1, 2024
  • Lieutenant General Stephen Kelsey has been briefed on the operational situation in the area of responsibility of the Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejon (CAOCTJ), the only centre of the NATO structure located in Spain.

The Deputy Commander of NATO's Joint Force Command Naples (DCOM JFCNP), Canadian Lieutenant General Stephen Kelsey, has made his first official visit to the CAOCTJ.

Upon his arrival at the CAOCTJ, Lieutenant General Kelsey was received by the Centre's Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant General Juan Pablo Sanchez de Lara. They subsequently held a meeting in which Rear Admiral Francisco Asensi, Head of the JFCNP Plans Division, also participated.

General Sanchez de Lara then gave a graphic presentation of the Centre's capabilities and resources to fulfil its permanent mission of airspace surveillance on the southern flank of Europe. In this presentation, the General also explained the contribution of the CAOCT to the establishment of the Joint Force Air Component (JFAC) in the event of its establishment in crisis situations. With reference to the recent crisis in Ukraine, General Sanchez de Lara explained the efforts made by the CAOCTJ to protect the airspace of allied countries in the area of responsibility.

Following his presentation, General Sanchez de Lara, accompanied by a delegation from the various divisions of the CAOCTJ, held a discussion with General Kelsey in which operational and organizational matters were addressed within the Joint Force Command and its dependent agencies, as well as the role of the CAOCT as a liaison and coordination element between the Joint Force Command and the established JFAC.

After a visit to the Operations Room to see the work of the Centre's staff in situ, the day was rounded off with a working lunch on the CAOCTJ premises.


The main mission of the CAOCTJ, under the direct command of a Lieutenant General of the Spanish Air and Space Forces, 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 to which it reports and with the resources assigned to NATO by the nations in peacetime.


The Spanish Armed Forces make an important contribution to the centre's mission. Approximately 120 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).