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Headquarters


Headquarters Allied Air Command is located at Ramstein, Germany, within Ramstein Air Force Base, which has been home to a NATO Airpower headquarters since 1974. The headquarters is responsible for planning, exercising and executing Integrated Air and Missile Defence Operations within NATO’s European area of responsibility from peacetime through to conflict.

The Headquarters includes the Operations Centre for Air Policing, Ballistic Missile Defence and operational control of NATO's Airborne Early Warning and Control Force as well as for NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance Force. The Headquarters can also host a Joint Force Air Component to command and control allied air operations during crisis and conflict. More than five hundred dedicated military and civilian personnel, increasing to some 620 in support of the adapted structure, serve at the Headquarters, representing 25 NATO member nations. The staff is permanently augmented by representatives from three of NATO’s partner nations, Sweden, Finland and Azerbaijan. Subordinate units to the Headquarters are the two Combined Air Operations Centres at Uedem, Germany and Torrejón, Spain as well as the Deployable Air Command and Control Centre at Poggio Renatico, Italy.

Leadership

The Headquarters at Ramstein is also home to the Commander of Allied Air Command. As per agreement of NATO’s member nations the Commander’s post is filled by a United States Air Force four-star General. The post of the Deputy Commander, a three-star General, is filled by two nations, France and the United Kingdom, on a rotational basis. The headquarters’ Chief of Staff, a two-star General’s post, is also filled on rotational basis by host-nation Germany and Italy. Additionally three Deputy Chiefs of Staff in the rank of one-star Generals serve at the Headquarter, one from either Germany or the United States, one from either France or the United Kingdom and one from Turkey.

History

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.

Heraldry

Against a light blue background the headquarters' crest prominently features a sword in its center, around which two white trails spiral upward, headed by an arrow shape. The upper left corner features the NATO Compass Rose.

The light blue background signifies the blue sky as the domain of Air Power. The center of the crest features the sword of Emperor Charlemagne (Charles the Great, 747 - 814), who first united the greater part of Europe in his days. In the upper right corner the NATO compass rose is depicted, marking Allied Air Command as a unit of the NATO Command Structure. The one stylized aircraft in the upper left-hand corner portrays air power. It is borne on the upward swing of two contrails, symbolizing the amalgamation of former Headquarters AIRNORTHWEST and AIRCENT into Allied Command Europe’s Northern Region Air Component Command, Headquarters AIRNORTH. In turn AIRNORTH became Allied Air Command in 2013, to become NATO’s single command for all Alliance air and space matters.


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Headquarters Allied Air Command
Ramstein Airbase, Building 313
66877 Ramstein-Miesenbach
GERMANY

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HQ Allied Air Command
Flugplatz Ramstein
66877 Ramstein-Miesenbach
Germany

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Building/Gebäude 313
66877 Ramstein-Miesenbach
Germany