Updated: 22-May-2002 Week of 13-19 May 2002

16 May 2002

NATO AWACS return from the United States

A ceremony was held at the Geilenkirchen AWACS Air Base in Germany on 16 May, to mark the conclusion of Operation Eagle Assist, one of NATO's contributions to the fight against terrorism. NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, was joined by the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, General Joseph Ralston, the chairman of the Military Committee, Admiral Guido Venturoni, and the US Ambassador to NATO, Nicholas Burns, to welcome the last AWACS crews returning from the United States.

Operation Eagle Assist was launched on 9 October 2001 to help protect the United States from further terrorist attacks. It was the first time that the Alliance had deployed assets in support of the defence of one of its members and consisted of seven AWACS, which patrolled American skies. AWACS are radar systems that can transmit data to command and control centres on land, sea and air and are one of the few defence capabilities that are commonly owned by NATO.

Additional information:
  • High resolution photos of the visit of NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, to the NATO AWACS Air Base at Geilenkirchen (Germany) to mark the conclusion of "Operation Eagle Assist" - 16 May 2002
  • NATO Update: Geilenkirchen and Operation Eagle Assist - 18 March 2002
  • NATO Update: NATO provides additional support in fight against terrorism - 16 January 2002
  • NATO Update: Deployment of NATO forces - 9 October 2001
  • NATO Update/SHAPE News Release: NATO Airborne Early Warning Aircraft Begin Deploying To The United States - 9 October 2001
  • Webmodule: NATO and the Scourge of Terrorism
  • Website of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force E-3A Component