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Air Operations Centre Director

Brigadier General Fernando Manuel Lourenço da Costa

Brigadier General Fernando Manuel Lourenço da Costa is the Air Operations Centre Director of the Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón, Spain.

Brigadier General Pilot-Aviator Fernando Costa was born in Lisbon, Portugal, on December 22, 1967.

He joined the Air Force Academy on August 24, 1987.

He has a degree in Military and Aeronautical Sciences, in the Specialty of Pilot-Aviator, by the Air Force Academy, having received a license in August 1992, at Air Base No. 1, Sintra, Portugal.

Between September 1992 and April 1993, he attended at Air Base Nº11, in Beja, the Complementary Piloting Course for Combat Airplanes, in a T-38 Talon plane, at Squadron 103.

In April of that same year, he was placed at Air Base No. 1 in Sintra, at Squadron 101, where he obtained the qualification of instructor pilot in a TB-30 Epsilon aircraft, a function he performed until September 1997. During this period, he attended the Basic Command Course at the Institute of Higher Studies of the Air Force (IAEFA), in Sintra, Portugal.

In September 1997, after having completed another Complementary Piloting Course for Combat Airplanes, this time in an Alpha-Jet aircraft, at Squadron 103, he was transferred to Air Base No. 5, Squadron 201, where he performed various functions as an operational pilot in aircraft F-16OCU, having obtained several qualifications in flight.

During this period of his operational life, he participated in the "Red Flag" exercise, in 2000, at Nelis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, in the United States of America and the NATO School course "Tactical Leadership Programme".

In the 2001/2002 school year, he attended the General Air War Course at IAEFA, having been promoted to the rank of Major in October 2003.

Between October 2003 and July 2004 he served as an Operations Officer for Squadron 201 (Air Defense), with the qualifications of Team Commander and F-16A Instructor.

Between July 2004 and November 2005 he performed the functions of Commander of Squadron 301 (Ground Attack), having obtained all the qualifications in flight on the Alpha-Jet aircraft.

In June 2006, after the transfer of Squadron 301 to Air Base No.5, he assumed the head of the Operations Center of Operational Group 111, having remained as an instructor pilot in an A-Jet aircraft, attached to Squadron 103.

From September 2006 to September 2010, he held the positions of "OperationsDefence Fighter" and "Duty Controller" at the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) 8 in Madrid, Spain. During this period, he attended the course "NATO Staff Officers Orientation Course" at the NATO school in Oberammergau, Germany. On October 15, 2007, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

In September 2010, returning to Portugal, he assumed the functions of head of the Air Command's Current Operations Division, cumulatively with the head of the "Exercise and Training & Mission Analysis" department of CAOC 10. With the closure of the latter, in 2012 he took over as the head of the Air Command Air Operations Center.

In 2012, as part of NATO's collective defense, he commanded a detachment of F-16A in Keflavik, Iceland, with the purpose of ensuring the policing/air defence of that State's area of responsibility.

He was promoted to the rank of Colonel in December 2013, having been transferred to the Air Force Academy in September 2014 to perform the duties of Commander of the Alumni Corps, where he remained until October 2017.

Cumulatively, in the 2016/2017 academic year, he was an auditor of the National Defense Course at the National Defense Institute.

Between October 2017 and October 2019, he assumed command of Air Base No. 11, in Beja, Portugal.

He attended the General Officer Promotion Course in the 2019/20 academic year.

Between 2020 and 2022 he was an Air Commander's Advisor. Since August 2020 Brigadier General Fernando Manuel Lourenço da Costa has beenin his current position as the Air Operations Centre Director of the Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón, Spain.

Brigadier General Fernando Costa has accumulated more than 3,000 hours of flight, the vast majority in reaction planes.

His service sheet contains various accolades and various decorations, including the Military Order Medal of Avis Commander Grade, five Distinguished Service Silver Medals, 1st and 2nd Class Military Merit Medals, Saint Cross Medal Jorge 2nd class, 1st Class Aeronautical Merit Medal and the Gold Medal of Exemplary Behavior.

(Biography current as of August 2022)

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