On June, 28 1974, the first NATO Air Headquarters – Allied Air Forces Central Europe – was established at Ramstein Air Base with staff from Belgium, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. Its task was to provide central direction and control for the air forces in the European Central Region through the co-ordination of the headquarters of Second Allied Tactical Air Force based at Rheindahlen and Fourth Allied Tactical Air Force based at Heidelberg.
During the early 1990s, tensions between East and West relaxed and a major reorganisation of the NATO command and control structure was initiated. Given decreasing numbers of Allied aircraft in Europe, a downsizing of Central Region Air Force headquarters occurred during 1993; Allied Air Forces Central Europe was expanded to absorb their functions. On July 1, 1993, the new AIRCENT headquarters was officially formed.
A further consequence of NATO's reorganisation was an increased area of responsibility for NATO Europe's Central Region by the addition, on January 1, 1994, of Denmark and northern Germany, which had previously been under the Northern Region. With the accession of three new members to NATO in March 1999, Poland and the Czech Republic have since contributed to AIRCENT's task and mission. In March 2000, Headquarters AIRNORTH was officially inaugurated with a structure that included personnel from Norway, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy and Spain.
When in March 2004 another seven new members acceded to NATO, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as Slovakia joined the Headquarters' staff. On 1 July 2004, Headquarters AIRNORTH was renamed Component Command-Air Headquarters Ramstein and with effect from 1 March 2010, the Headquarters was again renamed to Headquarters Allied Air Command Ramstein.