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The NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control Force (NAEW&CF) is home to NATO’s ‘eyes in the sky’, the E-3A Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS), which plays an important and unique role for the Alliance by protecting Allied airspace with their air and maritime surveillance capability.

The NAEW&CF has two units with operational capability: The NATO E-3A Component, and the former E-3D Component of the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the United Kingdom. RAF personnel crewed six E-3D aircraft until 2021. Additionally, the Mission Systems Engineering Centre (MSEC), which provides engineering services for the E-3A aircraft mission systems, is also part of the NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control Force. The NAEW&CF Headquarters is responsible for providing direction and guidance to the Force and oversees Force policies.


The NAEW&CF Headquarters, MSEC, and the E-3A Component are located on NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen in Germany. The Component also maintains three forward-operating bases at Konya in Türkiye, Aktion in Greece, Trapani in Italy, and a forward-operating location at Ørland in Norway.

Participating Nations

A total of 17 NATO member nations participate in the overall NAEW&CF programme: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Türkiye, the United Kingdom and the United States of America (Luxembourg does not provide military personnel).

In addition to these member nations, Canada, France, and Lithuania provide military personnel to the E-3A Component.

The Force also employs NATO International Civilians from other member nations. All NATO nations contribute to the NAEW&CF employment budget either financially or as contribution in kind.


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Airborne Early Warning
& Control Force

P.O. Box 40800
Lilienthalallee 100
52511 Geilenkirchen

Media Operations

Public Affairs Office
P.O. Box 40800
Lilienthalallee 100
52511 Geilenkirchen