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NATO Generals' Conference in Lithuania


Yesterday, January 23, the two-day annual conference of NATO North Europe Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) commanders was concluded in Lithuania.

15 Generals focused their attention on Air Police issues. They looked at the situation of Baltic States Air Police Mission. The attendees also considered NATO Response Force formation issues, and possibilities of NATO Force expansion in ISAF Mission for south and southeast Afghanistan. They discussed modernisation of Combined Air Operations Centre and technical development of the unmanned aircrafts system.

The conference was run by a four-star General William T. Hobbins (USA), Commander of NATO Air Component for the North Europe and the U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

The Conference was opened by visiting Lithuanian Air Force (LAF) Aviation Basis (AB) in Siauliai. The participants came by a military aircraft C-130. They were received by LAF Commander Colonel Arturas Leika and AB Commander Colonel Audronis Navickas. The Commanders shortly introduced their forces to the guests. The Conference participants also met with the Belgian Response Unit on the NATO Air Police Mission. Later on the participants flew to the newly established Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) of the three Baltic States in Karmelava and inspected operations underway in the centre, equipment, and personnel preparation

There are totally five Combined Air Operations centres in NATO North Europe region. Their main function is taking care of the assigned air space protection (Air Police Mission). Centres are subordinate to the NATO Air Component Headquarters in Ramstein. Regional centres are accordingly subordinate and report to such centre. Baltic States Control and Communication Centre in Karmelava is subordinate to the Combined Air Operations Centre in Germany.

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