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Sede del EMAD

Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC TJ)

Joint Air Operations Command
CAOC TJ Main Entry

At the 2010 Lisbon summit, the Heads of State and Heads of Government of the Atlantic Alliance agreed on the implementation of the new NATO´s strategic concept, which will serve as the organization roadmap for the following ten years. This new concept will become actual fact during the Defence Ministers meeting of June 2011, thanks to the NATO Secretary General´s proposal for a new command structure and geographic distribution of NATO´S headquarters. Once changes are implemented, NATO will only have two Operation Centres, one of them located in the German town of UEDEM, responsible for the northern flank, and the one, the Combined Air Operations Centre in Torrejón (CAOC in Spanish), responsible for the southern flank. Both of them are under the command of the sole Air Command Headquarters located in Ramstein (Germany).

The CAOC TJ Commander is Mr. Ruben Carlos Garcia Servert, Major General of the Spanish Air Force and the Chief Commander is Mr. Panagiotis Skarpetas Dimopoulos, the Greek Lieutenant General.

Lieutenant General Rubén Carlos García Servert


Rubén Carlos García Servert, Lieutenant General of the Spanish Air Force

(General Corps Officers Rank) – Defence Staff graduated)

He was born on 18th April 1958 in Madrid, he is married and has two sons and two daughters.


  • Armilla Airfield, CSAGA (Selection Centre of the Air Force Academy): from 2nd of August 1975 to 21st of July 1976
  • Air Force Academy, until 14th of July 1980
  • Matacán Airbase (Salamanca), up to end- April 1981
  • Zaragoza Airbase (Wing 31), up to end-September 1986
  • Air Force Academy, up to end-June 1988
  • Military zone of Barajas Airport (45 Group), up to end-February 1992
  • Torrejón Airbase (45 Group), up to end-June 1995
  • Air Force Academy, up to end-September 1996
  • Military and Air attaché to the Spanish Embassy in Paris, up to end-September 2002
  • Counsellor of the Minister of Defence. Technical cabinet, up to end-September 2002.
  • Chief of the Military Staff of the Spanish Air Force´s Plans Division, up to November 2012.



  • Degree in Political Sciences and Sociology. Special graduation prize.
  • Degree in Law.
  • Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in International Relations from the Paris-Sorbonne University and from the Complutense University of Madrid.
  • Auditor Certificate from the French “Institut de Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale" (IHEDN) in Paris. 
  • Teacher-Tutor of the Spanish Armed Forces´ Associated Centre with UNED during the academic year 1994-1995.
  • Teacher-Tutor of the UNED´s Support Centre in Paris, during the academic years 1997-1998 and 1998-1999.
  • Teacher-Tutor of Las Palmas de Gran Canarias Associated Centre with UNED, during the academic years 2002-2003 and 2003-2004.
  • He has given different lectures and has participated in several seminars.


  • Major General of the Spanish Armed Forces, Air Force Corps, Highest Rank, first position of the 32th year of the Air Force Academy.
  • Official certificate of Aircraft Observer
  • Official certificate of Fighter Aircraft Pilot
  • Diploma in Military Staff of the Spanish Air Force
  • Diploma in Advanced Course from NATO Defence College (NADEFCOL) in Rome.

He has conducted the following courses in Spain:

  • Supplies Course (N.25)
  • Air Transport Course
  • Flying Instructor Course in Airplanes E-17, E-24, T-12 AND E. 26
  • Pedagogic Aptitude Course
  • Military Attaché Course (EMAD)

Moreover, in the United States, he has conducted the following:

  • Navigator Basic Course (NAGAF)
  • Navigation Advanced Course
  • C-130 Navigator Course and Theoretical Course and Simulator Airplane B-707 (T-17)
  • He has taken in France the Theoretical Course and Simulator Airplanes DA-20 (T-11) and DA-50 (T-16)
  • He was a member and moderator of different Round Tables, Spokesperson, Appraiser and Assessor in several evaluating and examining Boards
  • He has served as Professor in the Air Force Academy and Air Force School. He is the Air Force´s representative in the Defence Staff´s Military Strategy Steering Group 


  • Certificate of Competence in English (Higher Level), by the Official School of Languages of Madrid (Standardization Language Procedure SPL Permanent).
  • Certificate of Competence in French (Higher Level), by the Official School of Languages of Las Rozas (SPL authorised exam level 5. Permanent)
  • Certificate of Competence in German (Higher Level), by the Official School of Languages of Santa Lucía (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) (SPL Permanent)


  • Monograph: “the CFSP and the European common security in the Maastricht Treaty. Realistic project, utopia or pure speculation”.
  • Report: "la politique de sécurité et défense de I'espagne: I'Espagne et la PESC". 
  • Monograph: “The Alliance´s Missions in the new Strategic Concept”.
  • Strategy Paper nº 110, entitled “The NATO´s Strategic Concept, a Spanish point of view”.
  • Conference: “The Spanish Society in the face of International Conflicts”.
  • Spanish Modernization Foundation”. Book edited by Ediciones Doce Calles, Ltd.
  • Article “Crisis management and mutual assistance clauses”.
  • Strategy Paper nº. 129, edited by SEGENPOL/Spanish Institute for Strategic Studies, on 10th November 2004.
  • Impact of the economic crisis on the European security and defence areas.
  • CESEDEN monographs number 125, February 2012, the impact of the economic crisis in the security and defence areas.
  • Monograph “Pooling and Sharing Initiatives”. The case of the European Air Transport Command. Security and Defence Documents number 55 from the School of Higher Defence Studies, April 2013. Process towards European Armed Forces: achievements and challenges.



  • Grand Cross, Commander with Star, Commander and Cross of Saint Hermenegild. 
  • 1 Grand Cross of Aeronautical Merit. 
  • 3 Crosses of Aeronautical Merit, 2nd class, with White Decoration.
  • 1 Cross of Naval Merit, with White Decoration.
  • 1 Cross of Merit of the Civil Guard.
  • 2 Simple Honorary mentions and 1 Special.
  • Chevalier (Knights) of the French Legion of Honour
  • Chevalier (Knight) of the French National Order of Merit
  • Medal of the Chilean Air Force.


Spanish Air Force, currently in a NATO post.

Madrid Bar Association

Official Association of Graduates and Doctors in Political Science and Sociology

Spanish Association of Political Sciences and Administration

Association of Spanish Security and Defence Graduates

CAOC Operations zone

The main mission of CAOC Torrejón is to plan, lead, coordinate, supervise, analyse and inform on the air defence operations of the allocated resources in peace, following the instructions of the NATO air component. As a second and also essential mission, CAOC will be able to assign a large part of the personnel to contribute to the management of the crisis and conflicts. This is part of the air component of an operation led from any location distant from our national territory.

Therefore, the Spanish Centre is in charge of Air Defence in Southern Europe, under the direct command of a Spanish General. This centre integrates the capabilities of the previous five control centres. Moreover, the air space of responsibility has been extended, covering the space comprised from the Azores Island to Romania, and from the Canary Islands to Turkey.

This implies that, under the CAOC TJ responsibility area, are included Portugal, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Albania, southern half of France and Spain. This covers around 6.500 kilometres from east to west, all the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and part of the Atlantic Ocean. The responsibility area is bounded to the south and to the east with other NATO friend and allied countries, as well as with some growing instability areas.

CAOC TJ emblem reflects this geographical dimension, by representing the Pillars of Hercules and the Bosporus as towers, both of them with doors and connected by the air defence Wall in the Mediterranean, which is responsibility of CAOC TJ.

CAOC Torrejón has accomplished its mission since the beginning of 2013, and it has evolved by means of an adaptation scheme from the former CAOC 8 to the new Alliance structure. It has gradually assumed air defence of the different countries located in its responsibility area. For this reason, all the equipment, command and control systems have been modernised in order to reach full operational capability in July 2004.

CAOC Group photo

185 people are currently working at the CAOC Torrejón. Moreover, CAOC TJ has the support of a detachment from the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA), together with a support unit. Spain, as host nation, covers a great part of the posts in these organisms.

The allied countries that provides personnel to this centre are the following: Albania, Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey, United States, and Spain, as a host nation. This list of countries shows the centre´s multinational atmosphere where the mission is developed.

CAOC Structure

CAOC Torrejón is divided into two main parts. One of them is deployed and the other one is static and focused in the NATO territory air defence. The first one includes the Instruction, Intelligence, Plans and Operations Divisions, and is totally deployed according to nature and operation entity. The static part is responsible of achieving the main objective of the Alliance countries´ Defence Area, according to the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS).

In order to comply with this joint airspace surveillance, CAOC Torrejón has under its tactical control all the material and personal means offered by the allied countries, focusing all of them in the southern half of Europe.