Last Air Mission of Unified Protector concluded

Today, at midnight Libyan time, a NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AWACS) concluded the last flight of Operation Unified Protector. With this, a successful chapter in NATO's history has come to an end.

Since the beginning of the NATO operation, NATO air assets conducted over 26,500 sorties, including over 9,700 strike sorties to protect the people of Libya from attack or the threat of attack.

NATO AWACS performed the crucial function of commanding and controlling all NATO air assets operating over Libya. This included the issuing of real-time tactical orders and taskings to Alliance fighter aircraft, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, air-to-air refuellers or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). NATO AWACS also supported the NATO ships and submarines enforcing the maritime arms embargo against Libya by providing an aerial maritime surveillance capability.

On 1 November 2011, all NATO AWACS will return to their home airbase in Geilenkirchen, Germany. All other aircraft, ships and submarines which contributed to the mission will return home and revert back to national command.

[Source: NATO official website, 31Oct11]

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