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NATO deployed 17 E-3 AWACS aircraft to forward operating locations in Greece, Turkey, Italy, and Norway to allow runway work at the fleet's home at Geilenkirchen AB, Germany. "Supporting operations from these locations is something the [AWACS] component envisioned and has been resourced to do since 1984," said Maj. Gen. Andrew Mueller, who commands the alliance's multinational E-3A fleet, in a May 9 release. "I am certain our component members at the [forward operating bases] and FOL are ready to sustain our outstanding mission success rate" supporting NATO forces in Afghanistan, patrolling Eastern European skies, and other taskings, he added. Repaving Geilenkirchen's 30-year-old runway will take 16 weeks, according to the release. The 10,000-foot strip will open for three days every two weeks to allow limited air traffic, though the AWACS force will remain deployed until work is complete. The last E-3A departed Germany for Konya AB, Turkey, on May 8. (Geilenkirchen report by SSgt. Richard Longoria)