Typhoons based in Romania have been given the green light by NATO to conduct air patrols over Romania.
According to a press release:
“The enhanced Air Policing mission is part of NATO’s Assurance Measures, implemented after Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.
Allies augmentation of Romania’s own Air Policing capabilities sends a clear message of NATO’s resolve, commitment and solidarity to its Eastern Allies. Romania has successfully and professionally conducted its own Air Policing under NATO control and standards since its accession in 2004.
The RAF will be operating alongside the Romanian Air Force’s own fleet of fast-jet aircraft. Romania is equipped with MiG -21LanceR and the American built F-16 aircraft.”
During a ceremony held at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Southern Romania, leading officials from NATO gave formal accreditation for the RAF Typhoons to commence NATO Enhanced Air Policing missions over the Black Sea. Leading the ceremony was the Commander of the Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Torrejon Air Base in Spain, Lieutenant General Ruben C. Garcia Servert, of the Spanish Airforce, who will be controlling the air policing missions.
Lt Gen Servert said:
“Such deployments showcase the ability of the Alliance to interoperate, share and pool capabilities, and to adapt and scale our defensive deterrence posture”. He added: “The opportunity for the Romanian Air Force, Royal Air Force and NATO Command and Control structures to test and validate procedures, systems and tactics means that NATO can continue to draw on well-coordinated and integrated Allied Air Forces to provide a single airspace security standard across NATO’s area of responsibility.”
The UK Ambassador to Romania, Mr Paul Brummel, said:
“Such air policing missions ensure we would be able to rapidly and efficiently tackle any potential aggression or threat against the Alliance or its members. Furthermore, this year’s mission at Mihail Kogalniceanu has a special meaning, since it marks 100 years since the establishment of the Royal Air Force.”
Commanding Officer (CO) of 135 Expeditionary Air Wing, Wing Commander Chris Ball said:
“Today is a significant part of this important mission for 135 EAW. Throughout my career I have worked in numerous NATO roles with several nationalities. At a time when the British withdrawal from the EU is grabbing the headlines, it is important that our NATO allies are assured that the UK’s commitment to the alliance remains as steadfast as ever.”