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Periodista del EMAD

The Commander of the Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) in Torrejón welcomes the new Ambassador of Albania to the CAOC

In Torrejón, Madrid
April 10, 2024
  • Ambassador Entela Gjika was keen to learn about the work of NATO's international contingent in Torrejón

The Commander of the Combined Air Operations Centre of Torrejón (CAOCT), Lieutenant General Juan Pablo Sánchez de Lara, has received the visit of the recently appointed Ambassador of Albania to Spain, Entela Gjika.

After the formal reception, Lieutenant General Sánchez de Lara proceeded to explain in detail the mission carried out by the CAOCT within the framework of its responsibility to guarantee the air defence of southern Europe, being Albania one of the countries under the umbrella of NATO's integrated air and missile defence system (NATINAMDS).

The visit concluded with the Ambassador signing the unit's book of honour and a formal exchange of gifts.

Mrs. Gjika came accompanied by a civilian and military delegation from her embassy. This visit was one of the first official acts of her new duties, taking advantage of the celebration of Albania's first fifteen years as a member of the Atlantic Alliance. The CAOCT has a permanent presence of an officer from the Albanian Air Force, who also joined the visit.

Coinciding with the 15th anniversary of Albania's presence in the Alliance, NATO is also celebrating 75 years of history, following the signing of the Washington Treaty in April 1949. Nothing better represents NATO's values of cohesion, collective defence and solidarity than the example of Albania, a country that relies on the invaluable cooperation of its allies to protect its airspace all year round..

Finally, it is important to note that Albania is located in the Western Balkans, an area of great interest to NATO. With the opening of a new combined base in Kuçova (to the south of the capital Tirana), the Atlantic Alliance is demonstrating its confidence in and commitment to this nation, which is also of great relevance for the full integration of this country into NATO's regular activities, as intensive use of these facilities is planned for the coming years.


CAOC Torrejón, under the direct command of a Lieutenant General of the Spanish Air and Space Force, has as its main mission to plan, direct, coordinate, supervise, analyse and report about the air defence operations in Southern Europe, following the directives of the NATO Air Component Command on which it depends and with the means that nations assign to NATO in peacetime.

The Spanish Armed Forces make a significant contribution to this centre's mission. Around 120 military personnel serve both in the CAOC itself and in the National Support Element (NSE) and the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) Unit.