NATO’s aircraft to guard Papal funeral ceremonies
Aircraft and crews from the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force (NAEW&CF) E-3A Component will provide airspace surveillance support during the funeral ceremonies for Pope John Paul II.
GEILENKIRCHEN, Germany—Aircraft and crews from the NATO Airborne Early Warning and ControlForce (NAEW&CF) E-3A Component will provide airspace surveillancesupport during the funeral ceremonies for Pope John Paul II.
Atthe request of the Italian government, NATO has agreed to providesecurity support to the Italian authorities by providing AWACS foradditional coverage of this important event. The aerial surveillancemissions will be flown from a Forward Operating Base in Italy.
NATO’sE-3A Component has increasingly been called upon to provide itscharacteristic airborne net of security at a wide variety of summitsand special events, including the 2004 Olympics and last month’s MadridInternational Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security.
OneAWACS operating at 30,000 feet can provide radar coverage out to adistance greater than 200 miles. Generating a clear picture of aircraftmovements from high to low altitude, the E-3A adds an additional levelof security.
The E-3A Component at Geilenkirchen isNATO’s only multinational flying unit, with international aircrews from12 nations. It is a critical element of NATO’s military capability,providing immediately available early warning, command and controlsupport to the entire range of NATO operations.