30 years AWACS operations at Geilenkirchen Air Base, Germany
To celebrate 30 years of E-3A NATO AWACS operations, Geilenkirchen Air Base, Germany, opened its doors on 16 and 17 June 2012. In 1982, the first Airborne Warning And Control System aircraft was stationed at Geilenkirchen. Military from all NATO nations are stationed at the airbase and man the aircraft. The mission of the unit is to deliver ready, responsive Airborne Early Warning, Battle Management and Command and Control capability to operational commanders.
A large number of NATO aircraft arrived on 15 June 2012 in rainy conditions. On Saturday and Sunday, the general public was welcome to visit the impressive static show and the cultural market, where members of NATO represented their individual countries. Unfortunately, there was no airshow to limit noise nuisance for local residents. On Monday 18 June 2012, the participating aircraft left to return to their home bases.