Updated: 20-Mar-2002 Week of 18-24 March 2002

18 Mar. 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

Additional information:
  • High resolution photos of the visit by the NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson to NATO AWACS Air Base in Geilenkirchen, Germany