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NATO MUltimedia

Portuguese Quick Reaction Alert

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All over Europe, NATO air crews are on Quick Reaction Alert - a high
state of readiness maintained to ensure the safety of Alliance
airspace 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Synopsis

Quick Reaction Alert is a high state of readiness, maintained by
NATO air crews to ensure the safety of Alliance airspace 24 hours a
day, 365 days a year. Fighter jets can be airborne within minutes to
intercept and identify unknown aircraft operating within NATO
airspace. Member countries provide the necessary aircraft and
assets for the air policing of their own countries. For those countries
that do not have this capability within or near NATO airspace, other
NATO members will assist on a rotational basis.
NATO Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) provides 24/7 command and
control from two Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOCs), one for
the north and the other for the south of the Alliance. Portugal
belongs to the CAOC in Torrejón, Spain. When needed, these Centres
decide - according to the location of the incident - which interceptor
will be scrambled.
The Portuguese Air Force shows us their QRA facilities at Monte Real
Air Base and explains the state of readiness they have to maintain to
be airborne within 15 minutes. On average, the Portuguese Air Force
has 300 flight hours and carries out about 8-10 scrambles per year as part
of the NATO CAOC in Torrejón.

Transcript

VISUAL DESCRIPTION

Text on screen:
NATO AIR CREWS MAINTAIN A
HIGH STATE OF READINESS CALLED
QUICK REACTION ALERT
TO PROTECT NATO SKIES EVERY
DAY 24/7

Text on screen:
Col Jôao “Skipper” Pereira
Air Base No. 5 Commander,
Portuguese Air Force

Text on screen:
Lt Col Afonso “Jackal” Gaiolas
Air Base No. 5 Operational Group
Commander, Portuguese Air Force

QRA PILOTS ARE PREPARED IN
THEIR FLIGHT SUITS
WITH THE AIRCRAFT ARMED AND
READY
SOUNDBITE (English) - Col Jôao
“Skipper” Pereira
Air Base No. 5 Commander, Portuguese
Air Force

“If NATO needs us, after 15 minutes
maximum, we have two jets airborne,
ready to do any interception.”
SOUNDBITE (English) - Lt Col Afonso
“Jackal” Gaiolas, Air Base No. 5
Operational Group Commander,
Portuguese Air Force

“The pilots, the maintainers and also the
armament crew will do their normal
day-to-day life here, at this facility that
was built specifically for the quick
reaction alert. So they have their meals,
they even sleep here, close to the jets.”

SOUNDBITE (English) - Col Jôao
“Skipper” Pereira, Air Base No. 5
Commander, Portuguese Air Force
“All NATO countries should have the
defence alert like we have. Some
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Reference
NATO707079
ID
1467