Air Operations Support

This Branch amalgamates Combat Support (CS) and Combat Service Support (CSS) functions into a single entity that is the JAPCC’s ‘one-stop-shop’ for all functions that enable Air and Space Power projection. Areas of specific focus include, but are not limited to Air Mobility (Air Transport and Air to Air Refuelling), Joint Personnel Recovery (JPR), Joint Rotary Wing Operations, Electronic Warfare (EW), Force Protection (FP) and Logistics.

These activities are fundamental to the effective and resource-efficient delivery of NATO Air and Space Power. Furthermore, AOS must be considered in a holistic manner rather than as individual or discreet functions that are conducted in isolation. AOS is both a Force Enabler and a Force Multiplier. Put simply, it is the bedrock of NATO’s Air Operations.

Branch Head

Joint Air Power Competence Centre

Colonel Marco Kathmann has been assigned to the JAPCC as the Branch Head Air Operations Support since September 2023. During his previous assignment he was Staff Officer Operations at the Permanent Joint Representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to NATO in Brussels. After graduating as an officer in 1986, Col Kathmann served as platoon commander, director of operations and squadron commander. Col Kathmann is a Force protection officer, and his last operational assignment was Commander of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Command. Following his operational career Col Kathmann was appointed Chief of Cabinet of the Commander Royal Netherlands Air Force and subsequently as Director of Compliance/National Security Authority at the Ministry of Defence.

Information provided is current as of October 2023

Featured Publications

NATO Rapid Air Mobility

Bringing the ‘Rapid’ into NATO Air Transport
By Maj 
Di Milia 
‘Obtaining additional air transport mobility – and obtaining it now – will better assure the ability of our conventional forces to respond, with discrimination and speed, to any problem at any spot on the globe [...]

Organizing Logistics for Future Collective Defence

By Lt Col 
Logistics is the cornerstone of all NATO operations but is often a secondary planning discussion after the staff plans the execution portion of an operation. According to NATO doctrine (AJP-5), ‘Logistics frequently shapes the design [...]

NATO’s Multinational MRTT Unit

An Update and Case Study for Future Defence Cooperation
By Lt Col 
In the 32 Since publishing, a number of developments within NATO’s Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) mission set warrants revisiting this topic. This article will provide a brief review of the formation of the MMU, update on the [...]

Subject Matter Experts

Lieutenant Colonel

Francesco Facchi

Subject Matter Expert 

Lieutenant Colonel Facchi joined the Italian Air Force in 1995 and completed Basic Training qualifying in air logistics. He was initially assigned to 6th Wing at Ghedi Air Force Base, as Chief of Logistic and Supply Service, and Director of Wing Warehouse until 1999. He was then posted to the...


Marco Joudioux

Subject Matter Expert 
Joint Personnel Recovery, Joint Rotary Wing

Commander Joudioux embarked on his career with the Italian Navy in 1989. He completed the rigorous US Navy flight school, earning the prestigious “Wings of Gold” in 1992 as a fixed-wing multi-engine pilot. He served as an Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopter pilot aboard various Italian ships, operating UH1 helicopters. In 1999,...

Wing Commander (ret.)

Jez Parkinson

Subject Matter Expert 
Force Protection

Wing Commander (ret.) Jez Parkinson is a RAF Regiment Officer with 33-years’ regular Service; over half in the Multinational environment and in excess of 7-years on operations. He continues to work as a Reservist in the Force Protection Environment and as a civilian on Asset Protection collaborating with the military,...

Lieutenant Colonel

Jared D. Thompson

Subject Matter Expert 
Air Transport

Lieutenant Colonel Jared D. Thompson serves as Air Mobility Strategist, Joint Air Power Competence Centre (NATO), in Kalkar, Germany. In this role, he executes the JAPCC Program of Work for air mobility interoperability and compatibility efforts and supports the Military Committee Joint Standardization Board as Chairman of the Air Transportation...


Eelco Tolsma

Subject Matter Expert 
Joint Personnel Recovery, Joint Rotary Wing

Major Eelco S.Tolsma joined the Royal Netherlands Air Force in 1987 to become a helicopter pilot. After earning his wings he started his flying career at 300 squadron at Deelen AB which he soon left to join 303 Search and Rescue Squadron at Leeuwarden AB in the northern part of...


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Contact Information

Joint Air Power Competence Centre
Römerstrasse 140
47546 Kalkar

+49 (0) 2824 90 2201

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