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Oct 20 2020

German Deployable Air Control Unit Augments NATO Capabilities in the Baltic Region

RAMSTEIN, Germany – Since October 12, Germany’s Deployable Control and Reporting Centre (DCRC) currently located at Šiauliai Air Base has been connected to the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS) enhancing the Alliance’s air surveillance capabilities above Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.  

After setting up and installing the DCRC systems, its staff is now available to support air surveillance and tactical control of air forces in a multinational environment until the end of November.

We are ready to support missions by employing our surveillance and control capabilities
“We are ready to take over an assigned area of responsibility and support missions by employing our surveillance and control capabilities,” German Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Thomas M. explains. As a Master Controller, he is responsible for supervising the DCRC’s tactical operations. A team of approximately 50 soldiers in different sections of the DCRC works to provide a recognized air picture, assign and control NATO fighters on their missions, while ensuring continuous operational readiness from a technical perspective. “Regular exercises enable us to be ready for deployments, such as the current operation in support of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing Mission in the Baltics,” Lieutenant Colonel Thomas M summarizes. 
Aircraft Controllers Claudia M. (left back) and Antonia W. (right front) at their stations in the German DCRC augmenting NATO's air control capabilities in the Baltic Region. Photo: Bundeswehr/Niels Juhlke.

The DCRC - call sign “Red Hawk” – has deployed in support of NATO’s Assurance Measures, introduced in 2014 to underline the Alliance’s commitment  to  the Allies along  its eastern flank. Italian and German 

Eurofighters currently operate out of Šiauliai in Lithuania and Ämari in Estonia, respectively, ready to conduct Air Policing missions 24/7 in the Baltic region. The fighters are controlled by stationary CRCs in the Baltic states, now supported by Germany’s deployable asset. For the next one-and-a-half months, the DCRC’s operations out of its deployed site underline NATO’s ability to set up and operate complex air surveillance and control infrastructure from field camps with basic infrastructure. Approximately 100 soldiers work out of Šiauliai, with smaller communications and datalink sub-elements in Skede, Latvia, and Ämari, Estonia. 

Until the end of November the German Air Force’s DCRC in Šiauliai will be connected to NATO's Integrated Air and Missile Defence System providing enhanced control capability for Allied fighter aircraft. Photo: Bundeswehr/Niels Juhlke.

By working together with the stationary Baltic CRCs in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany, the personnel at DCRC “Red Hawk” demonstrates its interoperability in a multinational architecture. The contribution of this deployable asset to the Baltic Air Surveillance Network (BALTNET) reinforces the Alliance’s defence capabilities and acts to deter potential aggression against any of its members.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office based on information provided by German enhanced Air Policing Detachment

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