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

Future Approaches to Red Air Delivery in NATO Air Forces in 5th Generation Fighter Training

By Lt Col 
Rafael 
Ichaso 
Red Air is a significant part of the NATO fighters training. However, this function is increasingly tricky for NATO countries to carry out, especially individually, due to the associated costs and the lack of materiel [...]

It’s a Question of Gender!

Unmanned is now Uncrewed
By Lt Col 
Andre 
Haider 
‘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
By Maj 
Brian 
Ladd 
By Wg Cdr 
Jez 
Parkinson 
By Col 
Erik 
Rab 
By Lt Col 
Marco 
Sampimon 
By Maj 
Eelco 
Tolsma 
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 [...]

Subject Matter Experts

Lieutenant Colonel

Andre Haider

Subject Matter Expert 
Uncrewed Aircraft Systems

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 
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...

Commander

Andrea Magi

Subject Matter Expert 
Maritime Air and Carrier Operations

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,...

Major

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)....

Major

Tamás Oszlár

Subject Matter Expert 
Attack Helicopters

Major Oszlar joined the Hungarian Defence Forces (HDF) in 1987 and started his military education at “Szolnok” Military Aviation College in Hungary. He was assigned to the 31. “Kapos” Tactical Fighter Wing 1990 as air traffic controller. He graduated on NATO Staff College Joint Command and General Staff Course at...

Lieutenant Colonel

Emiliano Pellegrini

Subject Matter Expert 
Attack Helicopters

Lieutenant Colonel Emiliano PELLEGRINI was commissioned in the Italian Army in 1990, when he was admitted to the Italian Army Military Academy. After five years of studies in the Academy was appointed as Mountain Artillery Officer where served for four years before to transit to the Italian Air Force schools...

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

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...

Commander

Aaron Shiffer

Subject Matter Expert 
Maritime Air and Carrier Operations

Commander Aaron Shiffer commissioned into the United States Navy in 2000. Initial training pilot training was in the P-3C Orion serving two US operational tours and a 3rd with the Royal Australian Air Force. After completing a tour on board the USS GEORGE HW BUSH, he transitioned to the P-8A...

Lieutenant Colonel

Giovanni Zanier

Subject Matter Expert 
Precision Guided Munitions

Lieutenant Colonel Giovanni Zanier joined the Italian Air Force in 1994, attending the Italian Air Force Academy in Pozzuoli (Italy) as ROTC pilot. He completed the Basic and Advance Pilot Training course at the 61st Air Brigade – Galatina AFB – in 1996, before attending the AM-X OCU in Amendola...

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Joint Air Power Competence Centre
Römerstrasse 140
47546 Kalkar
Germany

+49 (0) 2824 90 2201

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