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12 Feb 2016
GEILENKIRCHEN, Germany – Contributors to NATO’s AWACS programme marked a significant milestone on Thursday, February 11, by completing it’s 1,000th mission in support of NATO Assurance Measures.
The NATO E-3A Component has provided the bulk of these missions from Geilenkirchen, Germany and from its Forward Operating Bases and locations in Aktion, Greece; Konya, Turkey; Trapani, Italy and Oerland, Norway. The other component of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force, the UK E-3D Component, has contributed about 25 percent of the total sortie count and national contributions from the French E-3F and the Turkish E-7T fleets have made significant contributions.
A NATO E-3A aircraft, tail number LX-N 90456, with a mixed crew of 10 different nationalities completed the 1,000th mission at 1900 hours at the NATO Air Base in Geilenkirchen last night.
It was on March 10, 2014, that the North Atlantic Council, in response to the situation in the Ukraine and Crimea, decided to employ NATO AWACS (Airborne Early Warning and Control System) in orbits over Poland and Romania. The first Assurance Measures flight was flown from Geilenkirchen on March 13, 2014.
Assurance Measures sorties are flown to conduct air surveillance, enhance NATO’s situational awareness and to provide assurance to nations on NATO’s Eastern Flank. Over time additional orbits in the Baltics and Turkey have been added to extend these influences.
Yesterday was therefore an important day for NATO. It was also a momentous day for the NAEW&C Force and for the French and Turkish AWACS communities, who together comprise The Mixed Force. Today and into the foreseeable future, The Mixed Force will continue to play a pivotal role in the delivery of NATO Assurance Measures.
L. J. De Rothschild