The multinational NATO crew are operating a Boeing 707 E-3A Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) aircraft equipped with long-range radar and passive sensors capable of detecting air and surface contacts over a distance of 310,000 square kilometers.
Morón Air Base
Although the crews were at Morón Air Base in Spain to participate at the exercise Real Thaw, NATO members showed the capability and flexibility to conduct multiple tasks in the same week. During the exercise, the most challenging part is for the weapon controllers who intensively are tasked in different air combat missions. During the NATO Summit, the surveillance and passive controllers will have a major role in the buildup of the air picture and monitor the airspace in a large radius around the capital of Spain.
"The combination of the exercise and safeguarding the NATO summit in Madrid is offering all our operators a good opportunity to improve their skills in different environments," said Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth, Deployment Commander.
A NATO E-3A AWACS takes off from Morón Air Base in support of exercise Real Thaw.
A NATO E-3A AWACS crew member on board during exercise Real Thaw.