Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem


Most of the CAOC UEDEM support functions are accomplished at the nearby Von-Seydlitz barracks Kalkar. The National Support Units of Belgium, the Netherlands and the United States are also located there. CAOC UEDEM itself has a Peacetime Establishment of 185 positions. Furthermore, the CAOC hosts a NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) detachment. Host Nation Germany provides a considerable number of support personnel for both entities. CAOC UEDEM is manned with staff from 18 different nations.

The post of the Commander rotates between Germany and Belgium, while Poland and Germany take turns in manning the Deputy Commander's post.
 
History
Until shortly after the Cold War, the offensive and defensive aerial warfare at the tactical level was executed out of different operation centres. In Central Europe, four Allied Tactical Operation Centres (ATOCs) provided command and control for air attacks and four Sector Operation Centres (SOCs) executed the air defence portion. At that time the ATOC was located at Von-Seydlitz barracks at Kalkar and the SOC was at the Uedem Paulsberg site.

In 1993, the Interim Combined Air Operations Centres (ICAOCs) were established and ATOCs and SOCs were closed. Initially a Recognized Air Picture (RAP), i.e. a comprehensive view of all aircraft in flight in a certain airspace, was not available at the newly established CAOC 2 Kalkar, therefore Uedem SOC remained in service until March 1994 as a Remote Operation Centre (ROC).

To achieve a CAOC interim deployable capability for NATO, the 32nd US Air Operations Group (AOG) at Ramstein Air Base and CAOC 2 at Kalkar were commissioned to provide personnel and material. Co-ordination and preparation of deployed missions were ensured by establishing a CAOC 2 Detachment at Ramstein in September 1996 together with 32nd AOG. Since 1997 these units provided the so-called Interim Deployable CAOC Capability (IDCAOC).

In 2000, CAOC 2 Kalkar redeployed to the Paulsberg site and declared Full Operational Capability in March 2006. Since the closure of CAOC 4 Meßstetten on 30 June 2008, CAOC 2’s Air Policing Area comprised the airspace of ten European NATO nations. On 1 March 2010 CAOC 2 and CAOC 2 Detachment were amalgamated to stand up CAOC UEDEM.

Aerial view of CAOC Uedem

Mission
The latest reorganisation of the NATO Command Structure in 2013 reduced the number of CAOCs to two. CAOC UEDEM, is responsible for NATO Air Policing north of the Alps and CAOC Torrejon for the south. Each of them has a Static Air Defence Centre, conducting 24/7 peacetime Air Policing, and a Deployable Air Operations Centre (D-AOC) for operational contingency tasks such as providing qualified personnel augmentation to the NATO Command Structure Joint Force Air Component at Ramstein.

For Air Policing, CAOC Uedem closely cooperates with Control and Reporting Centres and National Air Policing Centres, allowing for thorough coordination of peacetime Air Policing operations, procedures and command and control.

This includes control of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing operation, where contributing nations take turns in providing Quick Reaction Alert forces for the mission. In 2008, the Baltic Region Training Event series was established to exercise Air Policing in the Baltic region and develop air interoperability including NATO’s neighbouring Partner nations Finland and Sweden. The events are scheduled three times a year and take place in each of the three Baltic nations.

CAOC UEDEM has been very much involved in supporting  many high visibility events such as the World and European Soccer Championships or NATO’s Riga Summit.

Currently, CAOC Uedem is training and preparing to reach Early Operational Capability for Air Command and Control System in the fall of 2015.

 

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