Dual change of command at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen
The Command of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force and of the NATO E-3A Component has changed during a ceremony on the 19th of June at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen. The Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Philip Breedlove presided the ceremony.
"AWACS has been one of the leading capabilities to provide assurance to our Eastern Allies" was one of the remarks during General Breedlove's speech. Right after this the commander of the E-3A Component Commander Maj. Gen. Andrew Mueller relinquished the command, while Brig.Gen. Karsten Stoye assumed command of the multinational unit that operates out of NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany.
General Breedlove inspects the troops"Assuming Command of NATO's Flagship Fleet, the NATO E-3A Component, fills me on one hand with honour and pride, on the other hand I feel the great responsibility which has been entrusted to me with the leadership of the airmen and civilian employees, especially in the upcoming period of transformation of the new NATO command structure" said Brig. Gen. Stoye. "Commanding a multinational wing is certainly one of the highlights in my professional, and also my flying career."
Brig. Gen. Stoye continues: "The enormous challenges ahead of us can only be achieved together with a strong team effort - I am sure we will be able to travel the road together as you have done in the past with General Mueller, who I would like to congratulate for his outstanding work and thank him for an exceptional hand over during these past weeks."
NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force Commander Maj. Gen. Jochen Both, German Air Force, handed over command to Brig. Gen. Dawn Dunlop, U.S. Air Force.
Brig. Gen. Dawn Dunlop receives the flag from SACEUR general Philip Breedlove and accepts the command over the NAEWCF"It is such a great privilege for me to stand here today; to accept that flag; to become the newest member of the NATO AWACS team; and to join the Command that for the past three and a half decades has stood as an example of multi-national collaboration and stood at the center of NATO airborne operations" were the opening remarks of Brig. Gen. Dunlop. "As we continue to face increasingly sophisticated and unpredictable threats, NATO's Early Warning and Command and Control capabilities will become even more important in ensuring our collective peace and stability."
The NATO AWACS Force consists of two Components, the E-3A Component in Geilenkirchen and the Royal Air Force's E-3D Component at Waddington, U.K. The E-3D is composed entirely of British personnel, whole the E-3A Component is NATO's multinational flying unit, with international aircrews from 16 nations.
The NAEW&C Force and the E-3A Component are currently undergoing a force transition. In the future both entities will be stationed at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen and both units together will consist out of 1,500 military and civilian personnel. The Component also operates from three forward operating bases in Italy, Turkey and Greece and one forward operating location in Norway.