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