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Mar 7 2024

NATO AWACS deploys to Rygge, participating in Nordic Response 24

RYGGE, Norway - NATO AWACS takes part in Exercise Nordic Response 24 from 26th of February to 15th of March. The team of 15 different NATO nations will operate the two E-3A aircraft out of the airbase in Rygge, Norway. The E-3A aircraft is often referred to as NATO’s ‘eyes in the skies’. This is due to its capability to detect air and sea movements hundreds of kilometres away. This data is shared with NATO commanders to provide them with a shared understanding of activities that take place in areas of particular concern.

But there is another highly valuable role that the men and women normally based in Geilenkirchen, Germany, are providing. They serve as airborne battle managers who coordinate other forces, including Allied fighter aircraft, to retain control of Allied airspace.

“The strategic role of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force cannot be overstated. We can showcase this in a large scale, multi-domain scenario like Exercise Nordic Response 24, showing our determined ambition to dominate the airspace and defend the Alliance”, said ​​Air Commodore Andrew Turk, NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander.

A NATO E-3A AWACS landing at Rygge Air Base, Norway during Exercise Nordic Response 2024. Photo courtesy Onar Digernes Aase, Forsvaret/ Norwegian Armed Forces 

Exercise Nordic Response 24 is part of the Steadfast Defender 24 series of exercises, the largest in decades. For the first time NATO is setting new defence plans into reality proving their executability and NATO’s warfighting transformation. This marks a new era of collective defence and proves NATO Allies’ solidarity, unity and strength.

The exercise has clearly demonstrated NATO’s ability of rapid, transatlantic reinforcements and the execution of multi-domain operations over several months across Europe. From the Arctic to the Eastern Flank of the Alliance over 90,000 forces from 31 Allies have taken part in the exercise and conducted effective defensive operations.

Story by Airborne Early Warning & Control Force Public Affairs Office

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P.O. Box 40800
Lilienthalallee 100
52511 Geilenkirchen
Germany