On Thursday 6 September a ceremony was held to officially welcome Poland as the newest member of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force.
The E-3A Component is growing again and Poland is the 15th nation to join the E-3A Component in Geilenkirchen, just after Hungary which joined in 2006.
The addition of Poland to the Component is an historic event that highlights the unique nature of AWACS operations at Geilenkirchen AB, the only multinational military flying unit of its kind in the world.
Every day, multinational crews work side by side to fly AWACS aircraft in Europe and around the world, providing air surveillance and control capability to the NATO Alliance.
Among the distinguished visitors were the Mayor of Geilenkirchen and Lt. Gen. Lech Majewski, the assistant to the Chief of General Staff for the Polish Air Force.
"Today's official accession of Poland to the NATO E-3A Component marks another strategic milestone in Alliance security. We recognize and celebrate the importance of this historic event, as Poland becomes the 15th NATO nation to fly with us here at Geilenkirchen. The future of the Alliance, the future of this Force and, ultimately, the future of freedom, rest solely upon commitment. Poland's national commitment to freedom is embodied in these professional airmen who now join our ranks," said Brig. Gen. Stephen Schmidt, Commander of the E-3A Component.