Spy plane set to watch Royal wedding
4 May 2004
BRUSSELS – Spain has asked Nato to deploy an AWACS surveillance plane to step up security during Crown Prince Felipe’s wedding later this month, the defence pact’s spokesman confirmed Tuesday.
Nato spokesman Robert Shell said the request was made through the alliance’s military channels and will be discussed by the Joint Military Commission at a meeting this week in Brussels.
The final decision will be made by the Atlantic Council, the group’s top decision-making body, Shell said.
Felipe is marrying former journalist Letizia Ortiz in Madrid on 22 May.
The event is not the first at which Spain has sought surveillance by AWACS – which stands for Airborne Warning and Control System.
It also requested such over-flights during the 2002 European Union summits, held in Madrid and Seville while Spain held the rotating presidency of the organisation.
Portugal has also obtained AWACS aerial support for the Eurocopa 2004 soccer tournament, as has Greece for this summer’s Olympic Games.
AWACS are Boeing 707 aircraft modified with the latest surveillance equipment. Nato has 17 of the planes, which were used to patrol the skies over the United States after the September attacks.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news