Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejon

CAOC Torrejón is headquartered at Torrejón Air Base north of Madrid, Spain.
At the Lisbon Summit in 2010, Heads of State and Government agreed to implement the Alliance's new strategic concept that serves as a roadmap for the organization for the next ten years. This new concept would materialize during the meeting of Defence Ministers of June 2011, the proposal of the Secretary General of NATO for a new command structure and geographical distribution of the Alliance Headquarters.

One new element of NATO’s new Command Structure is CAOC Torrejón. Established on 1 January 2013, CAOC Torrejón has been modernized and updated in its command and control equipment to undertake the new tasks assigned. The unit reached its Initial Operational Capability (IOC) on 1 July  2013, and its Full Operational Capability was declared by Commander Allied Air Command on 17 October 2014.
This structure left NATO with two CAOCs, CAOC UEDEM in Germany responsible for the area north of the Alps and CAOC Torrejón for the south. The CAOCs are overseen by one Allied Air Command located at Ramstein, Germany. In the course of this change, monitoring the airspace of southern Europe was taken over by CAOC Torrejón integrating the capacities of the five former centres of the southern region. This single centre enlarged the Air Policing Area considerably, now from the Canary Islands to Turkey and from Azores to Romania.

 CAOC Torrejon Static Air Defence Centre

The primary mission of CAOC Torrejón is to plan, direct, coordinate, monitor, analyze and report on the operations of Air Policing assets assigned to it in peacetime, following the directives of NATO Allied Air Command. 

To fulfil this joint airspace surveillance, CAOC Torrejón has under its tactical command all radars, Control and Reporting Centres and Quick Reaction Alert aircraft from Allies located in the southern half of Europe.

CAOC Torrejón is comprised of 185 staff positions from 16 NATO nations. Furthermore, the CAOC hosts a NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) detachment. For both entities, Spain as host nation, provides a considerable number of personnel. The CAOC Torrejón Commander is a Spanish Major General.
The CAOC has two main branches, one deployable and one focused in the static territorial air policing. The first includes the instruction, intelligence, combat plans and operations divisions and is deployable. The static branch is responsible for achieving the primary peacetime mission of air policing within the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defense System (NATINAMDS).


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