Combat Air

Combat Air (CA) is the heart of Joint Air Power. NATO’s ability to deter and defend relies on the freedom of manoeuvre throughout all domains. CA contributes to that freedom by providing Air Superiority, Suppression of Enemy Air Defences, Air Interdiction, Electromagnetic Operations, Close Air Support, Integrated Air and Missile Defence, NATO Ballistic Missile Defence, and Personnel Recovery. This Branch incorporates manned and unmanned platforms, with fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, and draws from all components within Alliance air and space forces.

Branch Head

Joint Air Power Competence Centre

Colonel Adams was commissioned by the Air Force Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama in April 2000. He is a Distinguished Graduate of Undergraduate Air Battle Manager Training and a Graduate of the United States Air Force Weapons School. He is a graduate of Bard College and holds Masters Degrees from the University of Oklahoma, National Intelligence University, and the U.S. Army War College.

Colonel Adams has deployed in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, and NOBLE EAGLE. He is a Master Air Battle Manager with over 2800 hours in the E-3B/C/G AWACS during assignments to Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma and Kadena Air Base, Japan. He was also qualified as a Control and Reporting Center Instructor Senior Director during an assignment to Aviano Air Base, Italy.

Colonel Adams was the Chief of Wing Weapons for the 18th Wing, Kadena Airbase and the Director of Operations and Commander of the 961 Airborne Air Control Squadron at Kadena Air Base. He was most recently the Director of the Allied Air Command’s Ballistic Missile Defence Operations Centre at Ramstein Air Base.

Information provided is current as of December 2021

Featured Publications


Establishing a NATO-owned Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance Capability
Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities of a coalition, such as NATO, have always played a key role in the success of operations. Although often this is considered an invisible job, the data collection and [...]

The TLP and the Pace of Change

TLP Challenges and Strategy
Change is associated in many cases with necessary actions, actions associated with positive effects, in politics, in aesthetics, in life. But this statement is not necessarily true if the changing subject already constitutes a relevant [...]

Potential Game Changer for Close Air Support

Enhancing UAS Role in Contested Environments
The NATO Strategic Foresight Analysis Providing CAS to joint forces remains a crucial mission in the context of joint force operations. However, peer adversary capabilities, including the threat posed to Alliance platforms from Air Defence [...]

Subject Matter Experts

Lieutenant Colonel

Osman Aksu

Subject Matter Expert 
Close Air Support

Lieutenant Colonel Osman Aksu graduated in 2001 from the TURAF Academy with an Electronic Engineering Degree. After undertaking flight training and basic Weapons Controller training in Izmir, until 2003, was assigned as Weapons Controller at Diyarbakr CRC. In 2008, he was selected as AEWC Project Officer for Peace Eagle in...

Lieutenant Colonel

Imre Baldy

Subject Matter Expert 
Attack Helicopters

Lieutenant Colonel Báldy joined the Hungarian Defence Forces (HDF) in 1988 and started his military education at “Szolnok” Military Aviation College in Hungary. He received his first rank of 2nd Lieutenant on 20 August 1992. His first flight position was at the HDF 87th “BAKONY” Combat Helicopter Regiment in 1992...

Lieutenant Colonel

Francesco Esposito

Subject Matter Expert 
Precision Guided Munitions

Lieutenant Colonel Francesco Esposito joined the Italian Air Force in 1990, joining the Italian Air Force Academy in Pozzuoli (Italy). He was trained with the US Air Force SUNT program in Randolph AFB (TX) and subsequently graduated as a Tornado Navigator/Weapon System Operator in Cottesmore (UK) in 1996. As an...

Lieutenant Colonel

Andre Haider

Subject Matter Expert 
Uncrewed Aircraft Systems

Lieutenant Colonel Haider is an artillery officer by trade with over fifteen years’ experience in command & control and operational planning. He is the Joint Air Power Competence Centre’s (JAPCC) Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Subject Matter Expert for almost ten years and represents the JAPCC in the NATO Joint Capability...

Lieutenant Colonel

Rafael Ichaso

Subject Matter Expert 
Manned Air (Fixed Wing)

LtColRafael Ichaso joined the Spanish Air ForceAcademy, San Javier, in 1993. He completed the Basic Pilot Training in 1997, and the Fighter Weapons course at the 23rd Wing in 1998. He flew the EF-18 in the 15th Fighter Wing, Zaragoza AFB in the 151 SQN from 1998 to 2007. In...


Andrea Magi

Subject Matter Expert 
Maritime Air and Carrier Operations

Commander Andrea Magi Joined the Italian Navy in 1990 initially as a conscript. He operated on board Italian Navy Maestrale class frigates and eventually was assigned to the 86th Squadron/30th Wing on board MPAs.  After attending the Naval Academy Officers’ course, he was again assigned on board frigates, the ITS...


Charilaos Nikou

Subject Matter Expert 
Electronic Warfare and SEAD

Major Charilaos Nikou graduated from the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) Academy with a BSc in Aeronautics in 2003. He holds two MScs in Business Administration from the Technical University of Crete, GR, and International Affairs from Nicosia University of Cyprus. He is a graduate of the Tactical Leadership Program (TLP)....

Lieutenant Colonel

Berry Pronk

Subject Matter Expert 
Air & Missile Defence

Lieutenant Colonel Pronk has served for over 40 years in the Royal Netherlands armed forces and has completed operational tours during operations Desert Storm, NATO Display Deterrence (US Operation Iraqi Freedom) and in SFOR, former Yugoslavia. He served in various national command and training positions, in the realm of Surface-Based...

Lieutenant Colonel

Livio Rossetti

Subject Matter Expert 
Attack Helicopters

Lieutenant Colonel Livio Rossetti was commissioned in the Italian Army in 1993, as an infantry officer. After three years he transited to the Army Aviation schools and graduated as a rotary-wing pilot in 1998. Lieutenant Colonel Rossetti has served as Platoon Commander, Squadron Commander, and S3-cell Chief. He has flown...

Lieutenant Colonel

Andreas Schmidt

Subject Matter Expert 
Air & Missile Defence

joined the German Air Force in 1993. After attending Officers School, he studied Computer Science at the German Armed Forces University in Munich. Since 1998 he built up an extensive background in Ground Based Air Defence, particularly the PATRIOT weapon system. He started as a Tactical Control Officer and subsequently...


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Joint Air Power Competence Centre
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