On November 19, the team of military air controllers finished their last day on mission and powered down their systems. For more than two months, they had controlled NATO fighter aircraft and monitored flight traffic in the region closely integrated with the static Control and Reporting Centres of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia overseen by NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany.
We have identified some key lessons
"We have identified some key lessons from this deployment," said Lieutenant Colonel Thorsten H., DCRC detachment commander. “From the logistics required for the actual deployment to the individual interfaces for the integration with the radar sensors of the Baltic surveillance network,” he added.
“We deployed a remote radar station to Ämari, Estonia, to establish stable ground-air-ground connections for our aircraft controllers to the German and Italian pilots in the NATO Air Policing Eurofighter jets ,” explained LtCol H. “By deploying another remote module for tactical data link to Latvia we achieved an expanded Link-16 capability within the Baltic airspace,” he concluded.
The planning and preparation for the redeployment had already started when aircraft control operations were in full swing. The on-site logisticians worked hand in
glove with their counterparts in the home garrison at Holzdorf Schönewalde northeast of Leipzig, Germany. The redeployment, just like the deployment, is a challenging task –45 trailer trucks are needed to transport some 70 20-feet containers with equipment and command post material back to Germany. “It is apparent that a move of these dimensions requires weeks of careful planning and coordination,” said Master Sergeant Sebastian F., lead logistics planner.
In another team effort the entire staff of DCRC “Red Hawk” dismantled the setup, prepared all material for loading into the containers and made sure every item is properly packaged for the redeployment move.
DCRC “Red Hawk’s” mission at Šiauliai, Lithuania, was executed as a sub-detachment of Germany’s enhanced Air Policing detachment of Eurofighter aircraft at Ämari, Estonia. This comprehensive support for the Alliance’s collective mission safeguarding the airspace of all Allies underlines Germany’s commitment to deterrence and defence. While the DCRC has redeployed to their home garrison, the German Eurofighters will continue to fly their missions under NATO authority well into next year.