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Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe joins NATO AWACS Mission

GEILENKIRCHEN, Germany - Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, joined a NATO AWACS crew during an Assurance Mission on Tuesday, Apr. 5, 2016, in the South-Eastern European NATO territory.  DSACEUR was accompanied by Brigadier General Dawn Dunlop, commander of the NATO Airborne Early Warning Force.

During the flight DSACEUR talked to the mission crew about their experiences during these important Assurance Missions.  "It's a great experience to see this multi-national NATO crew working together. It's an example how integration within NATO can work at it's best," said General Bradshaw.

Started in March 2014, the Assurance Missions are flown on a daily basis by NATO, British, French and Turkish AWACS aircraft.  The missions enhance situational awareness over what is happening in NATO's Eastern territory and assure NATO Allies in the region. Currently NATO AWACS are flying additional missions in Turkish airspace to provide extra surveillance in that specific region.

DSACEUR also witnessed the air-to-air refuelling procedure which can extend the NATO E-3A AWACS mission for several hours.

General Bradshaw was impressed by the professionalism shown by the multi-national crew. "Flying an actual Assurance Mission gives a good insight into the multiple capabilities of the aircraft and its systems, and also the chance to observe the sorts of air and maritime activity that are routinely monitored on these sorties. The NATO AWACS provides valuable situational awareness and gives NATO the ability to react with great speed and flexibility to a variety of potential challenges," he said.

The aircraft and crew will operate out of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Konya in Turkey from where they continue to fly Assurance Missions alongside several flights in Turkish airspace as part of exercise Nexus Ace during April.

Story by NATO E3A Component Public Affairs.

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