TORREJON, Spain – With a ceremony on June 6, General Tod Wolters, Commander Allied Air Command and Lieutenant General Ruben Servert, Commander Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) Torrejon, inaugurated the CAOC’s new headquarters building at Torrejon Airbase, Spain. The ceremony was attended by high ranking civilian and military guests, amongst them ambassadors from several NATO member countries and the Spanish Chief of Defence, General Fernando Martinez.
The inauguration of the new headquarters allows the personnel of Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejon working together under one roof. To this date the 185 personnel from 16 nations as well as a detachment of NATO’s Information and Communication Agency have been accommodated in three separate buildings across Torrejon Airbase.
"With this new facility we can also show how NATO can demonstrate its willingness to adapt and improve itself and how we can be united and resolute to safeguard our Allies’ freedom and security” said Lieutenant General Ruben Severt, Commander of CAOC Torrejon.
The ceremony was presided by General Tod Wolters, Commander of NATO’s Allied Air Command, the CAOC’s higher headquarters. Applauded by the attending guests, General Wolters cut the ribbon across the new Headquarters’ entrance.
"Today marks a very special day for the Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejon, for its men and women that proudly serve our great Alliance and for the command and control of NATO Air Power” General Wolters said in his speech. "The inauguration of the new headquarters building of CAOC Torrejon is a big step towards improving our ability to secure our skies” he added, addressing the guests of the ceremony.
The CAOC’s new home had served as lodging and office space for United States Air Force personnel based at Torrejon until 1992 and thereafter hosted the Spanish Air Force Military Police headquarters. In late 2014 extensive refurbishment began to meet the infrastructural needs of the NATO unit. More than 6 Million euros were invested in construction, furniture, IT infrastructure and equipment, further enabling the CAOC to ensure 24/7 command and control of NATO Air Policing assets in the south.
Since early 2013 CAOC Torrejon has executed its joint airspace surveillance mission in NATO’s southern airspace, integrating Alliance members’ Radars, Control & Reporting Centres and Alert Aircraft under its tactical command. The Alliance’s northern airspace lies within the area of responsibility of CAOC Uedem, Germany. NATO’s Air Policing is a routine peacetime mission that ensures the integrity of all Allies’ airspace. Since June 5, 2018, CAOC Torrejon also commands and controls Air Policing over NATO’s newest member country Montenegro.
Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office