NATO AWACS aircraft flew their 1,000th flight over Eastern Europe on Oct. 5. The flights in alliance member airspace began after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, according to a NATO release. The aircraft, which operate out of Geilenkirchen, Germany, provide essential surveillance capabilities and help reassure allies on the alliance’s eastern flank, according to the release. NATO’s fleet of 16 AWACS aircraft has also assisted in the fight against ISIS, with aircraft operating out of Turkey. (See also: NATO’s New Reality in the October 2016 issue of Air Force Magazine.)
Adm. Christopher Grady, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs and head of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, is pushing a “portfolio” approach to requirements and wants his position to have “more teeth” so he can enforce it.