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Mar 24 2022

NATO AWACS' Preserves Integrity of NATO's Airspace

GEILENKIRCHEN, Germany - Exactly a month ago, on 24 February, the world has changed considerably. After escalating tensions on the borders of Europe in the weeks before, Russia invaded the sovereign country of Ukraine. An unprovoked and unjustified violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity which has severe implications for Euro-Atlantic security.

In reaction to the build-up of Russian troops at the Ukraine's borders prior to the invasion, NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force began preparations for additional intensive air operations including short notice for move times in order to substantially increase our readiness, our logistic maintenance has intensified by preparing NATO E-3A AWACS aircraft to be ready continuously. Battle Staff meetings have been embedded into daily operations to provide Command and Control.

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Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the end of February, our flying hours have significantly increased, ensuring the monitoring of the current situation on the eastern flank of NATO. By delivering NATO's "eye in the sky," we collect information and intelligence and gather information in the electric magnetic spectrum in order to give our Allied leadership a clear and reliable view of the current situation in a time where information can be misconstrued. In addition, having NATO assets at NATO's European borders with a multinational crew on board, gives a clear message to the world about our vigilance and unity. Major General Thomas E. Kunkel emphasized "We are NATOs eyes in the sky, what we do matters and makes a difference for our Allies and partners."

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Whilst the intensified flying program is demanding on our personnel and aircrafts which we are actively managing this by coordinating all operational and maintenance closely, so we are able to meet the wide variety of tasks required of us. Performing on this high level is not only a matter of good coordination and managing but, relies on the outstanding dedication and professionalism of our NAEW&CF personnel. "In the face of Russia's aggression we must stay fully committed, motivated and utmost flexible. It is of extreme importance to demonstrate NATO solidarity and resolve and I'm thanking my personnel for doing this" General Kunkel said.

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Story by AWACS Public Affairs Office

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