Torrejon, Spain - Combined Air Operation Centre Torrejón (CAOC TJ) and Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) have collaborated on a collection campaign to help Afghan refugees.
The NATO Spouses Group at CAOC TJ set up a community campaign in late August to collect donations of clothing and other essentials that could be distributed among Afghan evacuees who arrived in Spain. Over 8 days spouses from CAOC TJ were able to coordinate donations and collections from the international community at COAC TJ, as well as from communities in Madrid, Albacete and Valencia.
The Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) in Albacete joined the effort on Wednesday 25 August, collecting donations from their NATO staffs and the wider Albacete community. All the donations were delivered by a trailer truck to the Red Cross collection point at Torrejón Air Base on August 30. From there clothing, toys and other items will be distributed by the Red Cross, with the support of the Spanish Air Force, to the refugees from Afghanistan.
Volunteers from CAOC-TJ deliver toys, clothes and baby supplies to the Spanish Red Cross, directly supporting Afghan Evacuees being processed at Torrejon Air Base. Photo courtesy of CAOC TJ
Staff from the Tactical Leadership Programme sort donations from the community to be sent via the Red Cross to Afghan evacuees. Photo courtesy of TLP
We want to express our deepest gratitude to the city of Albacete for the remarkable reception that this event has had and for the great solidarity shown by its inhabitants
"We want to express our deepest gratitude to the city of Albacete for the remarkable reception that this event has had and for the great solidarity shown by its inhabitants," said Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Mellor, Chief Flying Branch at the Tactical Leadership Programme.
Staff at CAOC TJ noted that the very direct links that exist between NATO and Spanish military staffs with their neighbours in the surrounding region and cities were at the forefront of this collection effort. Several Spanish organizations and companies, and citizens in general, came to help the NATO members with the collection efforts. Staff highlighted that this collective effort demonstrates a true sign of camaraderie and generosity of people across Spain to support the Afghan evacuees.