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Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem

The Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany is responsible for all Air Policing matters in European NATO Airspace north of the Alps. This includes control of NATO's Baltic Air Policing operation, where contributing nations take turns in providing Quick Reaction Alert forces for the three Baltic NATO members Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia; as well as NATO's periodic Air Policing and Surveillance mission to Iceland.

Under its responsibility falls the coordination and deconfliction of airspace for several annual and recurring live-fly exercises, such as Baltic Operations, conducted in the Baltic Sea and Ramstein Alloy, conducted on rotational basis in one of the three Baltic States. Repeatedly Uedem's Command and Control personnel has been involved in coordinating and securing dedicated airspace over and during high visibility events, such as international Football Championships or intergovernmental summits.

Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem is manned with staff from 18 NATO nations, currently filling 185 peacetime positions, which will increase to 190 to support an adapted structure. The staff is permanently augmented by representatives from two partner nations, Sweden and Finland. The post of the Commander rotates between Germany and Belgium, while Poland and Germany take turns in manning the Deputy Commander's post.


Learn more about the responsibilities and expert backgrounds of Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem's multinational leadership staff.


Until shortly after the Cold War, the offensive and defensive aerial warfare at the tactical level was executed out of different operation centres. In Central Europe, four Allied Tactical Operation Centres provided command and control for air attacks and four Sector Operation Centres executed the air defence portion. At that time an Allied Tactical Operation Centre was located at Von-Seydlitz barracks at Kalkar and a Sector Operation Centre was based at the Uedem Paulsberg site.

In 1993, Interim Combined Air Operations Centres were established and the Allied Tactical Operation Centres and Sector Operation Centres were closed. However, a Recognized Air Picture, a comprehensive overview of all aircraft in flight in certain airspace, was initially not available at the newly established Combined Air Operations Centre 2 Kalkar. Therefore the Sector Operation Centre at Uedem remained in service until March 1994 as a Remote Operation Centre.

To achieve an interim deployable capability for NATO, Combined Air Operations Centre 2 at Kalkar and the 32nd US Air Operations Group at Ramstein Air Base were commissioned to provide personnel and material. Coordination and preparation of deployed missions were ensured by establishing a Combined Air Operations Centre 2 Detachment at Ramstein in September 1996 together with 32nd Air Operations Group. Since 1997 these units provided the so-called Interim Deployable Combined Air Operations Centre Capability.

In 2005, Combined Air Operations Centre 2 redeployed from Kalkar to the Paulsberg site at Uedem and declared Full Operational Capability in March 2006. Since the closure of Combined Air Operations Centre 4 at Meßstetten, Germany on 30 June 2008, Combined Air Operations Centre 2's Air Policing Area comprised the airspace of ten European NATO nations. On 1 March 2010 Combined Air Operations Centre 2 and its Ramstein detachment were amalgamated to stand up Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem.



The center of the unit's crest is dominated by a stylised yellow watchtower against a light blue background. Behind the tower, two stylised aircraft rise upward. The upper right corner of the shield depicts the NATO compass rose.

The yellow watchtower is an element taken from the herald of the city of Kalkar, Germany, close to Uedem, where the Combined Air Operations Centre was previously based. The two stylised aircraft symbolise the combination of offensive and defensive air capabilities, as those operations where separate before Combined Air Operations Centres were established. The light blue background signifies the blue sky, resembling the air domain. The NATO compass rose marks Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem as a unit within the NATO Command Structure.


Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem
Mühlenstraße 89
47589 Uedem

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