Nine nations coordinated by the European Air Group (EAG) on behalf of NATO operated a multinational CATO in support of Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2015, from 19th September to 15th November 2015 at Zaragoza Air Base, Spain. The aim was to train and strengthen multinational Air Movements procedures between NATO nations using the CATO procedures developed by the EAG. Planning for the Exercise commenced in Sep 2014 and the CATO was generated by the Movements personnel within the EAG Logistics area. The CATO operated very successfully processing a significant volume of passenger movements and had, as at 15th November, handled 136 aircraft carrying 676 tonnes of freight and 8,100 passengers. The EAG’s CATO procedures provided standardised procedures for Air Terminal operations and is underpinned by the use of common doctrine using EAG , EATC and NATO documentation. At its peak the CATO was simultaneously handling up to 7 military and civilian transport aircraft from a variety of NATO nations.
Effective movement of passengers and freight is a key logistics capability essential to the nature of today’s military capabilities. Moreover, the ability for nations to operate collectively together lessens the deployed military footprint, providing a critical force enabling capability. The EAG’s CATO concept has previously been deployed at Kandahar and Kabul in support of operations in Afghanistan; however, it remains essential to continue to train personnel together in the operation of a multinational CATO.