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    Dual change of command at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen

    Dual change of command at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen

    Courtesy Photo | This is a fly-by during the dual change of command ceremony.... read more read more



    Story by Tech. Sgt. Richard Longoria 

    NATO E-3A Component

    By Capt. André Bongers

    GEILENKIRCHEN, Germany - The command of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force and the NATO E-3A Component has changed during a ceremony on the June 19, 2015, at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen.

    The Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Gen. Philip Breedlove, presided the ceremony.

    “AWACS has been one of the leading capabilities to provide assurance to our Eastern allies in the face of Russian actions in Eastern Ukraine,” Gen. Breedlove remarked during his speech.

    Maj. Gen. Andrew Mueller, U.S. Air Force, relinquished the command of the E-3A Component, while Brig. Gen. Karsten Stoye, German air force, assumed command of the multinational unit that operates out of NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany.

    "Assuming command of NATO's Flagship Fleet, the NATO E-3A Component, fills me on one hand with honor and pride, on the other hand I feel the great responsibility which has been entrusted to me with the leadership of the airmen and civilian employees, especially in the upcoming period of transformation of the new NATO command structure," said Gen. Stoye. "Commanding a multinational wing is certainly one of the highlights in my professional, and also my flying career."

    Gen. Stoye continued, "The enormous challenges ahead of us can only be achieved together with a strong team effort - I am sure we will be able to travel the road together as you have done in the past with Gen. Mueller, who I would like to congratulate for his outstanding work and thank him for an exceptional hand over during these past weeks."

    During the same ceremony, Maj. Gen. Jochen Both, German air force, handed over command of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force to Brig. Gen. Dawn Dunlop, U.S. Air Force.

    "It is such a great privilege for me to stand here today; to accept that flag; to become the newest member of the NATO AWACS team; and to join the Command that for the past three and a half decades has stood as an example of multi-national collaboration and stood at the center of NATO airborne operations," Gen. Dunlop remarked during her speech. "As we continue to face increasingly sophisticated and unpredictable threats, NATO's Early Warning and Command and Control capabilities will become even more important in ensuring our collective peace and stability."

    The NATO AWACS Force consists of two components, the E-3A Component in Geilenkirchen and the Royal Air Force's E-3D Component at Waddington, U.K. The E-3D is composed entirely of British personnel, whole the E-3A Component is NATO's multinational flying unit, with international aircrews from 16 nations.

    The NAEW&C Force and the E-3A Component are currently undergoing a force transition. In the future both entities will be stationed at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen and both units together will consist out of 1,500 military and civilian personnel. The component also operates from three forward operating bases in Italy, Turkey and Greece and one forward operating location in Norway.



    Date Taken: 06.19.2015
    Date Posted: 06.25.2015 05:42
    Story ID: 168047
    Location: GEILENKIRCHEN, NW, DE 

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