On the 11th January 2016 General del Aire F. Javier García Arnaiz took over command of the European Air Group (EAG) from Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, who has held the Directorship of the EAG since January 2014. The EAG comprises of representatives from the Air Forces of seven European nations: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. The EAG’s goal is to improve their Nations operational capabilities through interoperability. The handover ceremony took place in the EAG Headquarters located at Royal Air Force High Wycombe. All EAG Permanent Staff together with EAG Nations Air and Defence Attaches attended the ceremony. General Arnaiz was also accompanied by his Air Staff Secretary General, Cabinet Chief and EAG Working Group representative. Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford addressed the audience to thank all the EAG Staff for their work in the last two years and highlighted the importance of the EAG for our Air Forces development. After the handover and takeover certificates were signed General Arnaiz was given the EAG Permanent Staff pin badge by Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford. General Arnaiz, as the new Director EAG, took the floor and confirmed his strong commitment to continue the good work carried out and to encourage the future work of the EAG towards the new interoperability needs in accordance with the defence scenarios. He thanked Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford and all the EAG Permanent Staff for their dedication in the past years. As a gesture of appreciation Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford was presented with the EAG crest by the new Director, marking his time in office.
After the ceremony General Arnaiz held a working meeting with EAG Deputy Director Brigadier General De Ponti and the EAG Chief Of Staff Colonel Pierre to offer his vision on the future work and projects of the EAG. After the meeting General Arnaiz chatted with the rest of the EAG Permanent Staff over coffee.
Later the new Director EAG and his accompanying staff, following the invitation by Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, visited the National Air Defence Operation Center (NADOC) located at Royal Air Force High Wycombe. General Arnaiz was briefed on the Royal Air Force air defence and command and control systems.
Once the visit ended the General Arnaiz and the accompanying personnel enjoyed a working lunch prior to their return journey to Royal Air Force Northolt whereupon they flew back to Spain.