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Sixteen E-3A aircraft are assigned to the NATO E-3A Component. Normally, only a certain number of the E-3As are at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen at any given time. The remainder are deployed to the Component’s Forward Operating Bases in Aktion, Greece; Trapani, Italy; and Konya, Turkey; and to the Forward Operating Location at Oerland, Norway; or to other allied airfields.

Past Feature Photos:

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The specially painted 25th anniversary AWACS was first presented in 2007 as part of the celebration of the NATO E-3A Component’s 25th anniversary. This AWACS is a major attraction at air shows throughout Europe this summer. It is a symbol of successful multinational cooperation and a proud past full of NATO’s accomplishments. The NATO E-3A will continue to fly for peace, freedom, democracy and the hope for a better tomorrow.

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The last week of June 2009 the NATO AWACS participated for the first time ever at the ‘Airpower 09’ air show at Zeltweg Airbase, Austria. Around 280,000 visitors enjoyed more than 150 aircraft from 19 nations.

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On 22 April NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen was the scene for a combined change of commands for both the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force and the E-3A Component. Maj. Gen. Stephen D. Schmidt, U.S. Air Force accepts command of the NAEW&C Force from Gen. Sir John McColl. Maj. Gen. Schmidt served three-and-a-half-years as E-3A Component Commander. The new E-3A Component Commander is Brig. Gen. Burkhard Pototzky, Germany Air Force. Pototzky formerly served as Chief of Balkan Operations, Joint Commitments Staff, at the German Ministry of Defence.

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“Exercise Pitch Black 2008 was extremely successful for the NATO E-3A Component. We achieved to fly all allocated missions and completed valuable training with nations that we usually don't work with,“ says E-3A Deployment Commander after the historical and first ever deployment to Australia. Exercise Pitch Black 2008 is the Royal Australian Air Force’s largest and most complex Air Exercise.

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“This 25th Anniversary event was truly an amazing success. We especially want to thank all of our neighbours and the local authorities for helping make this a special event that the entire community could enjoy. Without the cooperation and support of the local community such a large scale celebration wouldn’t have been possible,”said Brig. Gen. Schmidt

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A formation of personnel representing every base organization and all 13 of the E-3A Component's current members looks on as an honor guard raises Hungary's flag, making it the 14th NATO nation with personnel on base.

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Maj Gen Axel Tüttelmann, Commander of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force, and Brig Gen Johanan Locker, Head of the Israel Air Force Air Division, shake hands shortly after the arrival of a NATO E-3A at Lod Air Force Base near Tel Aviv, Israel. Maj Gen Tüttelmann led a NATO crew to Israel for an orientation visit at the invitation of the Israeli government under the Mediterranean Dialogue Program. Israel is one of seven Mediterranean nations that participate in the program.

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A Trainer and Cargo Aircraft from the NATO E-3A Component unloads relief supplies at Little Rock Air Force Base Sept. 12. NATO agreed on Sept. 9 to provide relief support to the U.S. in response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

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Former Component Commander Brig. Gen. Axel R. Tüttelmann speaks at the change of command ceremony at Forward Operating Base Trapani, Italy. The E-3A Component operates from the Main Operating Base in Geilenkirchen, Germany, as well as forward bases in Trapani, Italy; Aktion, Greece; and Konya, Turkey. The Component also flies from Forward Operating Location Oerland, Norway.