Six new nations join NATO Collective Air Defence

The official opening of Canada

From Allied Command Operations:  On 2 March 2011, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) held a Memorandum of Understanding signature ceremony for five nations who will begin participating in Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOCs) and supporting NATO Air operations. Participating in the Accession Signature Ceremony was Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, France and Latvia. Albania is finalizing the process to participate in CAOCs and is expected to sign the MOU in the next weeks. …

The steps taken have allowed NATO to "recommit to maintaining the Air Defence of the Alliance through CAOCs,” said Major General Ramsey, adding "This is about Air Command and Control to allow NATO to provide collective Air Defence. This is at the heart of Article Five.”

Once Albania signs the MOU, there will be 26 NATO nations participating in CAOCs. By combining national assets, NATO has created an integrated air defence structure and system. The resulting NATO Integrated Air Defence System (NATINADS) comprises sensors, command and control facilities and weapons systems such as ground based air defence and fighter aircraft. Fulfilling NATO’s Air Policing task requires alliance nations to allocate their air defence assets to SACEUR’s operational command. This is executed from ground radar and surveillance assets attached to CAOCs distributed throughout the region.  (photo: Cpl. Levarre McDonald/CanadianMOD)

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