A NATO-operated Boeing E-3A Sentry airborne warning and control system (AWACS) has deployed to Krakow, Poland, to take part in a binational training event with alliance members from August 21 to 28.
During the exercise, known as Aviation Detachment Rotation 20-4, the Sentry and its crew will work with the Polish Control and Reporting Centre to provide command and control to Polish and US fighters. The event will see these aircraft conduct binational training flights over allied territory.
The Aviation Detachment Rotation exercises take place regular and are mandated under NATO’s Assurance Measures, which were implemented following the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. In a statement issued on August 21, NATO said: “These measures are in place to assure the alliance’s eastern members of NATO’s commitment and solidarity, as well as to deter any possible aggression against NATO members.”
NATO operates 14 E-3A Sentry AWACS from Geilenkirchen air base in Germany. These aircraft regularly support a wide range of NATO-led operations, including the coalition fight against so-called Islamic State. As part of NATO’s Assurance Measures operations, the fleet also conducts air surveillance flights, supports exercises and performs flyovers as a ‘show of presence’ against possible aggressors.