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

Colonel
 Tyler
 Niebuhr
Joint Air Power Competence Centre

Colonel Niebuhr entered the Air Force in 2001 when he graduated from Weber State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Physics. He earned his commission as a distinguished graduate from the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. After his commission, Col Niebuhr attended Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard Air Force Base, TX, and completed the F-16 Basic Operational Training Course as a distinguished graduate in 2004. Since then, Colonel Niebuhr has worked in various flying assignments across four MAJCOMs, serving at the squadron, group and wing levels. His operational experience includes Operations NOBLE EAGLE, ODESSEY DAWN, ENDURING FREEDOM, RESOLUTE SUPPORT and FREEDOM’S SENTINEL, with two six-month deployments to Bagram AB, Afghanistan.

Colonel Niebuhr commanded the 24th Tactical Air Support Squadron (TASS) at Nellis AFB, Nevada. The 24th TASS focused primarily on live Close Air Support training for JTACs, US F-16 FAC(A) production, and FAC(A) TTP development. Additionally, they provided integrated CAS training support for Green Flag, USAF Weapon School, and Special Operations Forces. He was also one of the founding cadre members for the CAS Integration Group established at Nellis AFB, Nevada, USA. Colonel Niebuhr’s educational background includes a Master of Human Relations and Master of Arts International Relations from the University of Oklahoma, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB (by correspondence), and a Master of Strategic Studies, with an emphasis in Joint Planning, from Air War College, Maxwell AFB.

Colonel Niebuhr is a Forward Air Controller (Airborne) Instructor and Command Pilot with over 3,300 flight hours, including over 190 combat sorties and more than 760 combat hours in the F-16.

Information provided is current as of September 2022

Featured Publications

It’s a Question of Gender!

Unmanned is now Uncrewed
‘Gender-inclusive language is about writing and speaking in a way that does not discriminate or marginalize on the basis of gender and does not promote or perpetuate gender stereotypes. Therefore, using gender-inclusive language proactively and [...]

A View from Above

Air Domain Focused Observations on the Ukraine Conflict
Although the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is still ongoing, with no prospect for termination of the hostilities in the foreseeable future, some initial observations can be made with respect to the air domain. These [...]

Defining the Swarm

Challenges in Developing NATO-Agreed Terminology Across All Domains
In recent years, the terms ‘swarm’ and ‘swarming’ have been among the most prevalent buzzwords in the uncrewed This article aims to outline the challenges and provides food for thought when discussing a future definition [...]

Subject Matter Experts

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 
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Lieutenant Colonel André Haider is an artillery officer by trade with over fifteen years’ experience in command & control and operational planning. He is the JAPCC’s Uncrewed Aircraft Systems Subject Matter Expert for more than ten years and represents the JAPCC in the NATO Joint Capability Group Unmanned Aircraft Systems...

Lieutenant Colonel

Rafael Ichaso

Subject Matter Expert 
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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...

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Andrea Magi

Subject Matter Expert 
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Commander Andrea Magi joined the Italian Navy in 1990. After serving on board frigates and the ITS Garibaldi as the Electronic Warfare Officer, he was assigned to the Gruppo Aerei Imbarcati, the Italian Navy Harrier AV8B+ Squadron, as Intelligence Officer and served on board Italian Navy aircraft carriers. In 2014,...

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Charilaos Nikou

Subject Matter Expert 
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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 
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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

Andreas Schmidt

Subject Matter Expert 
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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
Römerstrasse 140
47546 Kalkar
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+49 (0) 2824 90 2201

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