In a historic first, seven Finnish Air Force F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets landed at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta, Romania, on June 3.

This inaugural deployment under NATO’s Air Shielding mission will see them conducting both training and real-world sorties along the eastern flank on the Black Sea coast, according to a press release.

“Our objective here in Romania is to enhance our integration into NATO Air Power by honing and deepening our cooperation with the Royal Air Force and the Romanian Air Force,” said Lieutenant Colonel Rami Lindström, the first commander of the Finnish detachment at Mihail Kogalniceanu.

“For two months, the Finnish jets are joining a Royal Air Force Typhoon detachment and will be doing quick-reaction alert duty and flying alongside them and Romanian F-16s, collectively securing NATO airspace and assuring the Romanian population,” he added, underscoring the deployment as a milestone towards further developing “our capability to operate from another Allied air base.”

The deployment has already seen Finnish F/A-18 jets and a German A400M conduct refuelling operations en route to Romania.

The Finnish jets will join the RAF Typhoon detachment, participating in quick-reaction alert duty and flying patrols alongside Romanian F-16s to secure NATO airspace. This cooperation is part of NATO’s ongoing efforts to enhance peacetime deterrence and defence through its Air Policing and Air Shielding missions.

NATO provides peacetime deterrence and defence tasks through the Air Policing and Air Shielding missions. Member states’ air forces surveil and protect the integrity of Allied airspace through the standing Air Policing mission. The Air Shielding mission, on the other hand, consists of an increased presence of fighter jets and ground-based air defence units in NATO’s eastern member states. The tasks of the fighter detachments participating in the Air Shielding mission include quick-reaction alert duty, patrol flights under the command of NATO’s integrated air and missile defence, as well as exercise activities and maintaining the collective deterrence of the Alliance.

Consisting of seven F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets and less than 100 airmen, the detachment’s first goal will be achieving full operational readiness. Together with the RAF Typhoons, they will participate in NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) exercise Ramstein Legacy in June, which provides further opportunities for boosting interoperability in Allied Air Command’s major IAMD exercise.

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Lisa has a degree in Media & Communication from Glasgow Caledonian University and works with industry news, sifting through press releases in addition to moderating website comments.
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Steve S
Steve S (@guest_824662)
1 month ago

Seven! we struggle to provide four to such missions.

Do we need to find the funds to follow the German example today and order another 25 Typhoons? With this I believe Germany will have a bigger fighter fleet than the RAF, which is already behind France.

Baz Melody
Baz Melody (@guest_824680)
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve S

Seven is a lot, but I would suggest that it could be to expose as many Finnish pilots to this environment as possible.

Last edited 1 month ago by Baz Melody
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_824714)
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve S

And of course the Finns are not deployed in the South Atlantic, on Op Shader, and other places. It is a first so well done them.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_824720)
1 month ago

Absolutely well done the Finns ,but one should remember the Finns ain’t all over the place like us Brits 🇬🇧

Jim (@guest_824775)
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve S

Not when we are scrapping 30 T1’s for lack of pilots and ground crews.

Carrickter (@guest_824818)
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve S

The Germans already have a larger combat aircraft fleet than us. They have 141 Typhoon and 68 Tornado (total 209), whereas we only have 137 Typhoon and 34 F-35 (total 171). And the Luftwaffe have 35 F-35 and 58 Typhoon on order now too, although they will be replacing their Tornados and tranche 1 Typhoons. Even Italy has 94 Typhoon, 46 Tornado, and 31 F-35 (total 171), and Spain has 68 Typhoon and 84 F-18 (total 152). So we’re joint 3rd in Europe atm (or joint 4th if you include Russia), with Spain not far behind us. When we get… Read more »

Carrickter (@guest_824819)
1 month ago
Reply to  Carrickter

In fact, if you include Turkey you can knock us down another place overall, that would be 7th in Europe next year, and well outside the top 10 worldwide. It wasn’t that long ago that we had the 2nd highest defence budget in the world. What do we have to show for it other than BAE’s share price?

Pete (@guest_824753)
1 month ago

Article doesn’t say how many Typhoons are actually in Romania…weren’t some of them despatched from Romania to Cyprus to support Red Sea Ops. Is this partly a backfill ?

Maamies (@guest_826455)
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete

Finnish YLE: Six RAF Typhoons and 200 RAF personnel in Romania.

Lonpfrb (@guest_824895)
1 month ago

Hyvää Suomi 🇫🇮