From Allied Command Operations:  Fifty years ago today – on 1 July 1961 – the NATO Integrated Air Defence System (NATINADS) came into existence , as all air defence units in NATO’s Central Region were integrated into a unified structure under the operational command of SACEUR.

This was a very important and highly visible step in demonstrating the Alliance’s unity and in increasing its ability to defend the NATO area, and the countries of the Northern and Southern Regions soon followed the example of their Central Region counterparts and also assigned their air defence forces to SACEUR.
During the five decades that have followed this historic event, NATINADS has continued to grow in size and effectiveness, as new members of the Alliance have joined NATO’s Integrated Air Defence System and the system has continued to evolve to meet new challenges.
Today we salute those servicemen and women who continue to defend NATO’s air space, as well as all of their predecessors during the past 50 years of NATINADS’ existence. We also salute the NATO member nations for taking the historic step in 1961 of assigning their air defence units to SACEUR in peacetime, thus making the integrated air defence system possible. Thanks to our combined efforts in NATINADS, NATO’s skies have remained safe and secure.

The NATO Integrated Air Defence System (NATINADS) comprises sensors, command and control facilities and weapons systems such as ground-based air defence or fighter aircraft. NATINADS has been and remains a cornerstone of Alliance’s solidarity and cohesion.   (graphic: NATO Air Command and Control Management System Agency)