Reassuring the Eastern Flank

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.)