CONSTANTA, Romania - The Romanian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force executed an event showcasing NATO’s enhanced Air Policing with a simulated intercept in the air and a ceremony at Mihail Kogalniceanu (MK) Air Base.
In the morning of December 14, two Romanian C-27 transport aircraft took off at Otopeni Military Airport and so did two Canadian CF-188 fighter jets from MK Air Base. Half an hour later the Canadian fighters conducted a simulated intercept of one C-27, while several Romanian media were able to witness the manoeuvre from inside the other C-27. This drill is a standard procedure for Allied air forces and may typically occur during NATO Air Policing, a 24/7 peacetime mission executed to safeguard the airspace of all Allies. The specialty with this event was the Canadian jets which are deployed temporarily at MK Air Base under NATO’s enhanced Air Policing from September to the end of the year assuring Allies of NATO cohesion, readiness and resolve.
After the landing of all aircraft at MK Air Base, media conducted interviews with the Canadian detachment commander, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Hickey looked back on a successful mission. He thanked the Romanian hosts for their tremendous hospitality and support and acknowledged the outstanding training his team conducted with Allies throughout the mission.
In a short ceremony, the Chief of Staff of the Romanian Air Force, One-Star-General Viorel Pana, awarded the Romanian Air Force emblem of honour to several members of the Canadian detachment, including LtCol Hickey. In his speech, General Pana emphasized Romania’s gratitude to Canada for stepping up to the task of enhanced Air Policing. "You have successfully accomplished the mission in my country providing air security,” he said. "This is a continuation of the tradition of Romanian and Canadian cooperation in both training and joint air policing gaining professionalism and further improving airman skills,” the General added.
In 2014, NATO started to conduct enhanced Air Policing (eAP) in their eastern Allies as part of Assurance Measures. These measures were introduced in response to Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine with the goal to demonstrate the Allies’ collective resolve, demonstrate the defensive nature of NATO and deter Russia from aggression or the threat of aggression against NATO Allies.
More photos from the event can be found here
Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office