CONSTANTA, Romania - Senior Romanian, United Kingdom and NATO staff gathered at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania for the official certification of the Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon deployment to conduct NATO's enhanced Air Policing mission here on Thursday, Apr. 27, 2017.
"My certification team has put the Royal Air Force to a challenging validation of their ability to fly Air Policing over Romania missions on behalf of NATO and in concert with the Romanian Air Force," said Deputy Commander of NATO's Combined Air Operations Centre at Torrejon, Spain, Brigadier General Panagiotis Dimopoulos.
Besides General Dimopoulos representing NATO, the brief ceremony was attended by the Chief of Operations of the Romanian General Staff, Brigadier General Gheorge Badea, the Romanian Air Force Deputy Commander, Brigadier General Lian Somesan, the RAF Typhoon Force Commander, Air Commodore Ian Duguid, the Romanian Base Commander, Colonel Eduart Dodu, the Mihail Kogalniceanu US Base Commander, Colonel Steven Shepherd, 86th Air Base commander, Colonel Alexandru Trandafir, the RAF Detachment Commander, Wing Commander Andrew Coe, the Base Flight Safety Officer Lieutenant Colonel Dan Moise and the Defence Attaché of the United Kingdom Embassy in Romania, Commander Neville McNally.
General Dimopoulos declared the RAF Typhoon detachment fully operationally capable to fly Air Policing missions in concert with the Romanian Air Force for the next four months. At the same time, he pointed out the important role of the Romanian hosts and the relevance of NATO Air Policing saying "Let me underline that the Romanian Air Force showcases NATO Air Policing as they expertly safeguard their airspace integrated into NATO tactics, techniques and procedures. NATO Air Policing is a long-standing routine peacetime mission. Safeguarding the skies of all Allies is a fundamental component of how NATO provides security to its members."
Enhanced Air Policing (eAP) is part of NATO's Assurance Measures introduced in 2014. At the time, the Alliance started implementing these measures to demonstrate the collective resolve of Allies and the defensive nature of NATO, and to deter Russia from aggression or the threat of aggression against NATO Allies. The RAF aircraft deployed to Romania are part of the UK's contribution to reassurance measures to ensure the operational capability of NATO's eastern flank.
The eAP mission demonstrates NATO's flexible capabilities and readiness, underlining the commitment of Allies to each other.
Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office