UEDEM, Germany – During on official ceremony General Tod D. Wolters, Commander Allied Air Command, handed over the command of NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) responsible for operations in the north of Europe from Lieutenant General Joachim Wundrak to Lieutenant General Klaus Habersetzer. The ceremony was a joint NATO and German event, as the Chief of the German Air Force, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, simultaneously handed over the responsibility for the German Air Operations Command at Kalkar.
General Wolters thanked outgoing CAOC commander for his three and a half years at the helm of CAOC Uedem saying: "Lieutenant General Wundrak has been a General of action who relentlessly pursued peace and readiness. He has done so for 44 years, for the good of NATO, good of Germany and the good of our partners."
He then welcomed the incoming commander to this important position, commanding a team of experts that control NATO’s air operations including the 24/7 peacetime mission of Air Policing in the north of Europe adding: "Lieutenant General Habersetzer has been a Surface to Air Missile expert and a fantastic commander at every level. He is an Air Defender extraordinaire who can successfully operate in the complex joint environment."
General Habersetzer, who arrived at Uedem from his previous assignment as Chief of Staff of the Multinational Joint Headquarters at Ulm, said in his remarks: "I am excited to work with you on Air Policing issues from the strategic level to controlling and securing the skies of northern Europe.” The General is also the executive director of the Joint Air Power Competence Centre at Kalkar, where he will lead a team of multinational experts working on developing solutions for Air and Space Power challenges.
In the evening, General Wundrak was also formally retired from active duty with a Grand Tattoo in the historical market square of Kalkar, where he had spent the final years of his career.
Overseen by Allied Air Command, NATO’s two CAOCs control air operations in their respective areas of responsibility, The CAOCs cooperate closely with Control and Reporting Centres and National Air Policing Centres allowing for thorough coordination of Air Policing operations, procedures and command and control.
Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office