GEILENKIRCHEN, Germany - On January 18, 2022, the first of two NATO E-3A aircraft took off from their home base at Geilenkichen, Germany, headed to the NATO E-3A Component's Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Konya, Turkey to support various missions throughout their 59th deployment there.
More than 60 men and women are tasked to contribute to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, supporting NATO Assurance Measures over the Alliance's Eastern Flank. Out of Konya the AWACS crews will also control fighter activities during the live-fly exercise Nexus Ace.
We are constantly working to provide the Alliance with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data collected across Europe. We support strategic decisions with our unique far-reaching capabilities
"The international NAEW&CF team are constantly working to provide the Alliance with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data collected across Europe. We support strategic decisions with our unique far-reaching capabilities", said Air Commodore Keith Taylor, NAEW&CF Deputy Commander. "The scheduled deployment to our FOB in Konya, Turkey, demonstrates the flexibility and the resilience of our operational approach. Deploying to forward locations like Konya enables our missions wherever needed on the flanks of the Alliance. Our patrols underscore that the Alliance is vigilant and enhances NATO's situational awareness", he added.
NATO AWACS aircraft at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen – home of the NAEW&CF E-3A Component – four kilometres west of Geilenkirchen near the Netherlands border. Photo by NAEW&CF.
A Belgian crew member boarding the NATO AWACS aircraft in the morning of Jan 18 at NAO Air Base Geilenkirchen. Photo by NAEW&CF.
United States and Netherlands pilot crew settling in the cockpit preparing for take-off.
Photo by NAEW&CF.
A Polish crew member setting his control screens inside the body of the AWACS aircraft.
Photo by NAEW&CF .
NATO made the decision in 2016 to continue supporting the Coalition to Counter ISIL's air picture with its E-3A aircraft by providing surveillance and situational awareness. Already since 2014, NATO AWACS has been flying Assurance Measures conducting air surveillance to enhance the Alliance's situational awareness and providing assurance to members on its Eastern borders.
Besides the operational tasks, the deployment to Konya offers the members of the Component's Flying Squadron 2 a great possibility to work side by side with Turkish fighter jets during tactical-level exercise Nexus Ace to train the command and control capabilities and enhance interoperability.