NATO's surveillance aircraft visits Slovenia
NATO's AWACS surveillance aircraft Boeing 707 visited the Cerklje ob Krki air base in southeastern Slovenia on 15 November as part of the alliance's quarterly planning conference taking place there.
The Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) is NATO's key early warning capability, not only on NATO's eastern border, but also for all allies, including Slovenia.
Janez Gaube, commander of Slovenia's 15th Military Aviation Regiment, said the aircraft's visit proves the air base is ready, highly trained and equipped to support this type of aircraft.
Colonel Maurizio Maggio, AWACS unit commander, described AWACS as a powerful, flexible and relocatable maritime and air surveillance capability.
It is one of the few military assets owned and operated by NATO, and has a unique place in NATO's military history as the first multinational air force founded by NATO.
NATO's AWACS aircraft lands at Crklje ob Krki airbase.
Maggio praised Slovenia as a valuable NATO member since 2004, contributing to common deterrence and security of the other allies.
The country participates in NATO missions and hosts allied exercises, and also provides defence capabilities to strengthen the overall readiness of the force, he said.
According to the Slovenian Armed Forces, the aircraft is equipped with long-range radar and passive sensors, and can detect contacts in the air and on the ground hundreds of kilometres away and transmit this information to NATO.
The aircraft stopped in Slovenia briefly for five hours before returning to its air base in Germany.