German Air Force Deploys DCRC to Baltic Region
The German Deployable Control and Reporting Centre under camouflage nets during a deployment. Photo by Luftwaffe/Torsten Schoene
29 Jun 2016
Starting in July, Germany will
contribute to enhancing the forward presence of NATO forces in the eastern part
of the Alliance. The German Air Force is currently deploying the Deployable
Control and Reporting Centre (DCRC) from Schönewalde, Germany, to Lielvarde Air
Force Base, Latvia. Once the DCRC is fully set up, it will be integrated in NATO Air
Surveillance above Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Starting in mid-June, DCRC
materiel and equipment was loaded into containers, hauled to the port of
Travemünde in northern Germany by road and rail movements, shipped to the
Latvian port of Liepaja and, eventually, moved on to the destination of
Lielvarde again on roads and railways.
Once the DCRC is stood up at
Lielvarde, the staff will start to ensure surveillance of the Baltic airspace
and assist with training their Latvia colleagues. The deployment will last for
three months. As a mobile command post the DCRC can be deployed anywhere in the
world to conduct air surveillance and tactical command and control of air forces
e.g. employed during Allied operations or NATO Response Force mission.
The deployment is part of NATO’s
assurance measures that were agreed by Heads of State and Government at the Alliance’s
2014 Wales Summit under the Readiness Action Plan (RAP). Assurance measures
comprise a series of land, sea and air activities in, on and around the
territory of NATO Allies in Central and Eastern Europe, designed to reinforce
their defence, reassure their populations and deter potential aggression.
All 28 Allies are contributing to these measures on a rotational basis. The
measures can be stepped up or reduced as necessary, depending on the security
The Multinational Corps North
East in Szeczin, Poland, coordinates the NATO Assurance Measures in the Baltic
Region. It also is in charge and will provided command and control of the Very
High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), NATO’s Spearhead Force in case it is
deployed to the Baltic region.
into BALTNET – the Baltic Air Surveillance Network – the DCRC will be part
of NATO’s Air Surveillance and Control System (ASACS) that is overseen by Headquarters Allied Air Command. On a 24/7 AIRCOM and the two Combined Air Operation Centres located in Torrejon,
Spain and Uedem, Germany, exploit ASACS information to provide air command and control for Allied interceptor aircraft ensuring NATO's peacetime mission of Air Policing. A special situation exists in the Baltic region, where Allied Nations, since 2004, have taken turns in providing interceptor aircraft to the Baltic Air Policing mission ensuring safety and security of the airspace above Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.