|Updated: 20-Mar-2002||Week of 18-24 March 2002|
Geilenkirchen and Operation Eagle Assist
Crews returning from a regular rotation from Operation Eagle Assist were greeted by NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, who was visiting the Geilenkirchen AWACS Air Base in Germany on 18 March.
NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems Aircraft (AWACS) have been patrolling US skies since 9 October 2001 in support of US homeland security. Originally, five were deployed and an additional two sent in January. AWACS are one of the few defence capabilities of the Alliance which are commonly owned. They provide air surveillance and early warning capability by transmitting data to command and control centres on land, sea and in the air. An AWACS flying at an altitude of 9 150m has over 312 000km2 in its field of view. Three in overlapping orbits can provide complete coverage of Central Europe.
During his visit, Lord Robertson addressed former participants
in Operation Eagle Assist and met Major General Winterberger,
Component Commander of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control
Force and Major General Dora, the Force Commander. Geilinkirchen
is the main operating base for AWACS aircraft. Further information
on the aircraft itself, its history and flying operations, can
be found at: http://www.e3a.nato.int