The crest was designed and originated by the NAEW Force Command staff and also authorized by the three Major NATO Commanders in 1980. The distinctive NATO Airborne Early Warning Force Command insignia is composed of a NATO star on a silver Air Force wing, a golden sword and a golden and silver trident, all on a blue background.
The NATO star symbolizes the multinational personnel in the NATO AEW Force Command. The Air Force wing depicts the Airborne Surveillance and Command and Control duties of the Force.
The golden sword and the golden and silver tridents represent the (at that time) three major NATO Commanders: Supreme Allied Command Europe, Commander-in-Chief Channel and Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic.
The blue background symbolizes the sky, the operational element in which the NAEW&C Force serves.