RAMSTEIN, Germany – On January 24, the Spanish Army PATRIOT detachment was joined by Turkish Air Force fighter jets to conduct an air defence exercise out of its deployed site at Adana.
The common goal is to contribute to further improving interoperability and proficiency skills of both parties
For the first time, the 19th Spanish PATRIOT detachment deployed under the NATO Support to Türkiye mission collaborated with the Turkish Air Force at Incirlik Air Base testing the operators of the battery’s engagement control station.
Since January 2015, a Spanish Army PATRIOT battery has been stationed at Adana near Incirlik, Türkiye, to augment Turkish air defence capabilities. Photo by Spanish PATRIOT Detachment.
Inside the battery’s engagement control station, Spanish operators are identifying, tracking and engaging the airborne threat simulated by Turkish Air Force F-4E fighters. Photo by Spanish PATRIOT Detachment.
Turkish Air Force F-4E fighter aircraft simulated conducted approaches into the area of responsibility of the Spanish PATRIOT Battery near Adana. Archive photo by Turkish Air Force.
Allies are cooperating to ensure NATO's deterrence and defence capability - the Spanish Army and Turkish Air Force teams pose after the training event. Photo by the Spanish PATRIOT Detachment.
“Initiated during a visit of Commander Allied Air Command in 2023, the Turkish Air Force proposed bi-lateral training exercises with the Spanish PATRIOT Unit deployed in Incirlik under this NATO mission aiming to protect Turkish installations in the area,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Alejandro Fresno Calvo, commander of PATRIOT detachment. “The common goal is to contribute to further improving interoperability and proficiency skills of both parties,” he added.
“During the event, Turkish Air Force F-4E fighter aircraft from 111th Konya Squadron conducted approaches into the area of responsibility of the Spanish PATRIOT Battery near Adana,” Lieutenant-Colonel Fresno Calvo said. “Exercises like this one are a great training opportunity for my Spanish team to further improve relations with the Turkish Air Force and they showcase Allied cooperation and solidarity,” he concluded.
The current training event with the in-place Spanish PATRIOT detachment is a continuation of similar drills which were first conducted with the predecessors in November 2023.
NATO’s Support to Türkiye Mission augments Turkish air defence capabilities, through the PATRIOT ground-to-air guided missile defence system. This system is integrated into NATO's air defence network and contributes to protect the Turkish population and territory.
The mission began in 2013, following the decision of NATO Foreign Ministers to accommodate a request for support made by the Turkish government. Initially US, German and Netherlands PATRIOT batteries deployed to protect against the missile threat posed during the war in neighbouring Syria.
Spanish troops joined NATO’s deployment in January 2015 and have since been stationed at Adana with one PATRIOT battery. The deployment location are decided jointly with Türkiye as the host nation in close coordination with Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) who holds operational command of the mission and delegated operational control responsibility to Allied Air Command at Ramstein Air Base .