Updated: 07-Mar-2003 March 2003

6 Mar. 2003


NATO support to Turkey

The Commander in Chief Allied Forces Southern Europe (CINCSOUTH) Admiral Gregory G Johnson, US Navy, has assumed control of the three Dutch batteries of Patriot ground-based, air defence missile systems, which have deployed to Diyarbakir and Batman, South Eastern Turkey.

The deployment follows the NATO Defence Planning Committee’s authorisation to implement, as a matter of urgency, defensive measures to assist Turkey. The batteries were transported by sea from The Netherlands to the port of Iskenderun and travelled overland to their current locations. The Netherlands Patriot units received additional enhanced missiles provided by the German Air Force.

The Patriot system’s capability is to intercept and destroy Tactical Ballistic Missiles as well as hostile aircraft that are violating the integrity of the Turkish and Alliance airspace.

The Commander Allied Air Forces Southern Europe, Lt.Gen. Glen W. Moorhead III, USAF, will exercise command and control over NATO air defence assets currently deployed in Turkey through the Commander of Combined Air Operation Center 6, LtGen. Faruk Comert, Turkish Air Force. CINCSOUTH is the Joint Force Commander for this deployment.

Two NATO E3A AWACS aircraft deployed to their Forward Operating Base at Konya, Turkey last week, where they started routine peacetime surveillance flights on 26 February 2003. The Alliance presence is purely to contribute to the defence of one of its members, Turkey, in accordance with its obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty.

Additional information:

  • NATO Update: NATO AWACS on patrol in Turkey - 26 Feb. 2003
  • Factsheet: About the PATRIOT system
  • Presentation: PATRIOT ground-based air defence missile units (Slides do not comprise official NATO information)
  • SHAPE News: Three Patriot Ground-Based Air Defence Fire Units Arrived in Southeast Turkey - 5 March 2003
  • NATO Issues: Consultations on measures to protect Turkey - 6-19 February 2003
  • The official website of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force E-3A Component (AWACS)
  • The official website of the Allied Force Southern Europe
  • High resolution photos
  • IMS photos (low resolution)