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German Air Force Deploys DCRC to Baltic Region

Starting in July, Germany will contribute to enhancing the forward presence of NATO forces in the eastern part of the Alliance. The German Air Force is currently deploying the Deployable Control and Reporting Centre (DCRC) from Schönewalde, Germany, to Lielvarde Air Force Base, Latvia. Once the DCRC is fully set up, it will be integrated in NATO Air Surveillance above Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Starting in mid-June, DCRC materiel and equipment was loaded into containers, hauled to the port of Travemünde in northern Germany by road and rail movements, shipped to the Latvian port of Liepaja and, eventually, moved on to the destination of Lielvarde again on roads and railways.

Once the DCRC is stood up at Lielvarde, the staff will start to ensure surveillance of the Baltic airspace and assist with training their Latvia colleagues. The deployment will last for three months. As a mobile command post the DCRC can be deployed anywhere in the world to conduct air surveillance and tactical command and control of air forces e.g. employed during Allied operations or NATO Response Force mission.

The deployment is part of NATO’s assurance measures that were agreed by Heads of State and Government at the Alliance’s 2014 Wales Summit under the Readiness Action Plan (RAP). Assurance measures comprise a series of land, sea and air activities in, on and around the territory of NATO Allies in Central and Eastern Europe, designed to reinforce their defence, reassure their populations and deter potential aggression.  All 28 Allies are contributing to these measures on a rotational basis. The measures can be stepped up or reduced as necessary, depending on the security situation. 

The Multinational Corps North East in Szeczin, Poland, coordinates the NATO Assurance Measures in the Baltic Region. It also is in charge and will provided command and control of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), NATO’s Spearhead Force in case it is deployed to the Baltic region.

Integrated into BALTNET – the Baltic Air Surveillance Network – the DCRC will be part of NATO’s Air Surveillance and Control System (ASACS) that is overseen by Headquarters Allied Air Command. On a 24/7 AIRCOM and the two Combined Air Operation Centres located in Torrejon, Spain and Uedem, Germany, exploit ASACS information to provide air command and control for Allied interceptor aircraft ensuring NATO's peacetime mission of Air Policing. A special situation exists in the Baltic region, where Allied Nations, since 2004, have taken turns in providing interceptor aircraft to the Baltic Air Policing mission ensuring safety and security of the airspace above Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.


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