Working with industry is integral part of NATO’s success, says Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
On 29th January 2020, the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach visited Geilenkirchen Airbase where he met Leanne Caret, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing Defense Space & Security, Air Commodore Andrew Martin, Deputy Force Commander and Brigadier General Brian McDaniel, E-3A Component Commander of NATO’s Airborne Warning & Control System fleet.
The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Air Chief Marshal Peach was greeted by Air Commodore Andrew Martin, Deputy Force Commander of NATO’s Airborne Early Warning and Control Force (NAEW&C) which operates a fleet of 14 Boeing AWACS aircraft that provide the Alliance with air surveillance, command and control, battle space management and communications. After a short office call, they were briefed by Brigadier General Brian McDaniel, E-3A Component Commander. “The AWACS are NATO’s eyes in the Sky. They represent the world’s first multi-national, fully integrated Air Force, and are one of the few military assets that is actually owned and operated by NATO”, acknowledged Air Chief Marshal Peach.
Chairman Peach also met with Ms Leanne Caret. In November 2019, Boeing was awarded the 1-billion US dollar contract to modernize NATO’s AWACS fleet following an international competition. “For more than four decades Boeing has helped NATO support peace and prosperity in Europe,” Leanne Caret said. “We’re committed to broadening that relationship in the years to come and humbled by the trust NATO has in us”, added the CEO. “It’s important for NATO to work closely with companies like Boeing who have the expertise to provide the capabilities we need. Working closely with industry is and remains essential to NATO’s success”, concluded the Chairman
NATO AWACS are essential to monitoring Alliance airspace. They are a critical asset for NATO missions and operations to meet threats from the east and from the south. The AWACS are currently conducting reconnaissance flights over Eastern Europe, patrolling over Turkey, as part of tailored measures to augment Turkey’s air defences, and supporting the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL with air surveillance and situational awareness. “NATO’s AWACS can deploy from here in Geilenkirchen or our forward operating airfields in Greece, Italy, Norway and Turkey. They provide crucial intelligence that contribute to the overall success of our missions and allow NATO to effectively deter, defend and protect against any threat”, added the Chairman.
Air Chief Marshal Peach then met with Mr. George E. Riebling, Deputy General Manager of the NAEW&C Programme Management Agency (NAPMA) which is responsible for coordinating NATO’s acquisition strategy, managing projects associated with modernisation of the NE-3A fleet, providing sustainment support services, and overseeing the technical aspects of the NAEW&C airworthiness programme. NAPMA will also oversee the modernization programme of the AWACS fleet which will provide the fleet with sophisticated new communications and networking capabilities so it can operate until 2035.
The Chairman was also able to observe a Mission Simulator Demonstration which allows pilots to “train as they fly”.