Hungary joins AWACS programme
On December 22, 2005, Hungary formally joined 14 other NATO countries that contribute
to and manage NATO’s fleet of Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.
The ceremony marking Hungary’s accession to the NATO Airborne Early Warning and
Control Programme Management Organisation (NAPMO) was held in Budapest, with
Hungarian Defence Minister Ferenc Juhász and NAPMO representative Brigadier General
Berndt Glowacki as signatories.
The Hungarian delegation, under the leadership of Major General László Tömböl,
secured support and budgetary funding to join NAPMO and in December 2005, the NATO
Council accepted the Secretary General’s proposal that Hungary be included in the
list of participating nations.
Throughout 2006, personnel from the Hungarian Air Force will take up ground and
flying positions at the Force Command headquarters in Mons, Belgium, the fleet’s
home base at Geilenkirchen, Germany and with the Programme Management Agency at
Brunssum, The Netherlands.
NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen in Germany is the home to the E-3A Component, which
flies 17 AWACS aircraft and three Training and Cargo Aircraft (TCA). With more
than 3,000 military and civilian personnel, the Component plays an important role
in most NATO operations. It is also one of the largest employers in the region.