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Dec 10 2020

Exercise Torrejón Archer taking aim at its target

TORREJÓN, Spain – Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) Torrejón oversees synthetic air exercise involving Bulgarian, Romanian and Turkish Control and Reporting Centres (CRCs).  

In an effort to further hone and train tactics, techniques and procedures for directing Air Policing missions in its area of responsibility, CAOC Torrejón and its southeastern CRCs executed exercise Torrejón Archer on December 9 and 10, 2020. The static air defence centre of the CAOC conducted different scenarios simulating NATO responses to long-range aviation flights. The aim was to train and enhance integration of CAOC Torrejón with all CRCs in Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey and in particular to review cross border procedures.

It is indispensable that we are all familiar with common Air Policing procedures to jointly safeguard the airspace
This is what it looks like when a civilian airliner in distress is accompanied by military fighter aircraft, in this case Bulgarian MiG-29 fighters escort a Lufthansa A-380 on its first flight into Sofia International Airport. Photo by Ognyan Stefanov

“This exercise is a great opportunity to practice close coordination and cooperation among the nations and NATO,” said Lieutenant General Fernando de la Cruz, Commander CAOC Torrejon. “It is indispensable that we are all familiar with common Air Policing procedures to jointly safeguard the airspace and preserve the integrity of our Allies’ territory,” he added.

These activities exercise the skills and abilities of both the air controllers at CAOC Torrejon and the personnel at the CRCs in the CAOC’s Air Policing Area. They allow the international experts to conduct simultaneous Air Policing operations safeguarding the airspace of Allies and keeping it safe for all its users. 

A simulated trajectory of an airliner needing air assistance flying for more than two hours across the airspace of several Allies in the area of responsibilty of Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón. A similar scenario was used to train drills and procedures with Control and Reporting Centres in Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. Photo by CAOC Torrejón

Since 2017, the Torrejón ARCHER exercise series has been comprised of four individual events. Designed as an annual synthetic air event it aims at implementing established Peacetime Air Policing Procedures within the various regions of the CAOC Torrejon Air Policing Area south of the Alps.

CAOC Torrejón is located northeast of Madrid, Spain; together with its sister CAOC at Uedem, Germany, its primary mission is to assure 24/7 air space security by conducting Air Policing missions in a collective effort with all Allies. 

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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