Major General Harold Van Pee is Commander, Combined Air Operations Centre, headquartered at Uedem, Germany.
In his capacity as Commander CAOC Uedem, Major General Harold Van Pee is responsible to the Commander AIRCOM for all NATO and national Forces placed under his authority through the Air Operations Directive and is in charge of Command and Control of the CAOC. His primary
task is to conduct Peacetime Air Policing within his Air Policing Area. He exercises plans to include planning and tasking of Defensive, Offensive and Support forces made available by the nations. He advises NATO and local national authorities on operational, logistical, personnel
and organizational requirements, which affect the functioning of the CAOC. He supports other NATO and national entities to the extent possible and coordinates as necessary with local authorities.
Major General Harold Van Pee joined the Belgian Air Force in 1984 and graduated from the Royal Military Academy in Brussels in 1989 with a Master's Degree in Aeronautical Sciences.
He received his pilot wings the same year and was assigned to 1st Fighter Wing at Beauvechain AFB where he converted to the F16-A and specialized in Air Defence and Electronic Warfare. He left the Wing as Weapons & Tactics Training Officer.
After a tour as the 349th Squadrons' Operations Officer at 10th Fighter Wing Kleine Brogel AFB, Belgium, he was assigned to the Operational Requirements Desk at the Belgian Air Staff in 1998, where he was responsible for the operational oversight of the F-16 Mid-Life Update
In 2000-2001, he attended the Senior Staff Course at the Royal Defence College, after which he became head of the Air Capabilities Bureau at the Strategy Department, Joint Staff. He took command of 349th Squadron, 10th Fighter Wing in 2002, and returned to the Strategy Department two years later.
In March 2007, he was assigned to the Permanent Delegation of Belgium to NATO as the representative for the National Armaments Director. Other responsibilities at the Delegation included the follow-up of the Nuclear Planning Group (NPG SG Representative). Throughout his stay at the Air and Joint Staff he was a member and often chairman of countless workgroups and committees at NATO, the EU (and EUMS, WEAG), the EDA, the European Air Group etc. He also assisted the Air Component Commander in the framework of the European
Air Chiefs Conference (EURAC).
In 2009, he assumed command of the Flying Group of 10th Fighter Wing, becoming Delivery Force Commander for the Wings' nonconventional tasks and overseeing the Wings' operations over Afghanistan and Libya. In 2011, he headed the Plans Division at the Air Component Staff, followed by a first tour at NATO's Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem, Germany as Division Head Combat Operations (2012-2014). After attending the Senior Course at the NATO Defence College in Rome, he became Director of the Program Office in charge of the replacement of the Belgian F-16 fighter jets. Belgium eventually selected the F-35A. From 2019 to 2021, he was a senior advisor to the Belgian Chief of Defence.
In his flying career and as a Staff Officer, Major General Van Pee participated in numerous national and multinational exercises and operational deployments on four continents. He was NATO's first Baltic QRA Force Commander at Siauliai Airbase in March 2004. His operational experience includes tours at the ISAF HQ (2005) and ISAF Joint Command (2010-2011, 2012).
Major General Van Pee totals 3,500 flying hours of which 2,200 hours on fast jets.
1. August 1984-January 1989, Student, Royal Military Academy, Brussels.
2. May 1989 March 1991, Student pilot at Goetsenhoven and Sint-Truiden AFB.
3. March 1991-March 1996, F16 pilot 350 Squadron at Beauvechain AFB.
4. March 1996-July 1998, Ops Officer 349 Squadron at Kleine Brogel AFB.
5. July 1998-January 2002, Air Combat Requirements Desk Air Staff Brussels.
6. January 2002-July 2002, Air Requirements and Capabilities Desk Joint Staff Brussels.
7. July 2002-August 2004, Commanding Officer 349 Squadron 10th Fighter Wing.
8. Aug 2004-March 2007, Air Requirements and Capabilities Desk Joint Staff Brussels.
9. March 2007 September 2009, Advisor to the BEL Permanent Representative NATO HQ.
10. October 2009-August 2011, Commander Flying Group 10th Fighter Wing.
11. September 2011-July 2012, Head of Plans Division Air Component HQ Brussels.
12. June 2012-February 2014, Division Head Combat Ops CAOC Uedem.
13. February 2014-July 2014, Senior Course at NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy.
14. July 2014-October 2018, Program Director BEL F-16 replacement Program.
15. October 2018-October 2019, BEL F-35 Program Manager.
16. October 2019-September 2021, Plans & Policy Advisor to the BEL Chief of Defense.
17. September 2021-present, Commander CAOC Uedem.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Non-Article 5 Medal ISAF
Lithuania Medal of Merit
Medal Operations abroad
Flight Safety Award
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant September 26, 1986
First Lieutenant September 26, 1989
Captain September 26, 1991
Major December 26, 1998
Lieutenant Colonel March 26, 2005
Colonel March 26, 2012
Major General June 26, 2021
(Biography current as of Oct 2021)
(Current as of December 2019)