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Italian jets deploy to Bulgaria under NATO's enhanced Air Policing

 GRAF IGNATIEVO, Bulgaria - From July until October, four Italian Air Force Eurofighter jets will be deployed to Graf Ignatievo Air Base, Bulgaria, to fly under NATO’s enhanced Air Policing mission.

The jets from 4th Wing of Grosseto, 36th Wing of Gioia del Colle and 37th Wing of Trapani will be accompanied by up to 110 military personnel including pilots, mechanics and support staff. Once settled at Graf Ignatievo Air Base, the detachment will conduct familiarisation flights in the Bulgarian airspace and undergo certification by NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) Torrejon, Spain. Fully operationally capable, the four Eurofighter jets will commence joint flights with Bulgarian Air Force MiG-29 to conduct Air Policing missions, air patrols as well as interception and visual identification tasks.

Bulgaria is perfectly able to conduct NATO Air Policing with its assets; this enhanced Air Policing capability offered by the Italian jets provides the CAOC with more flexibility to conduct the mission.  

While Air Policing is a collective peacetime task to ensure integrity and security of NATO airspace, the enhanced Air Policing was agreed and implemented by NATO Allies at the Wales Summit in 2014 under the Assurance Measures. These measures are aimed at assuring Allies along the NATO’s eastern flank of Alliance commitment and resolve as well as deterrence and defence.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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