Canada kicks off enhanced Air Policing mission in Romania
RAMSTEIN, Germany – A ceremony held today at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania marked the official beginning of the Royal Canadian Air Force's enhanced Air Policing mission to Romania. Until the end of 2018 Canadian pilots and fighter jets will fly quick reaction alert and training missions together with the Romanian Air Force as a signal of allied commitment and solidarity with the eastern Ally.
As a symbolic kick off of their four months NATO mission the Canadian detachment was presented a "Mission Ready" certificate by Lieutenant General Ruben Servert, Commander of NATO's southern Combined Air Operations Centre at Torrejon, Spain. In his speech during the ceremony Lieutenant General Servert characterized the significance of the mission for the Alliance. "Two independent Air Forces teaming up to secure the NATO skies; that's the spirit of solidarity that the Alliance is all about" he stated. Lieutenant General Servert's unit is tactically responsible for all Air Policing in southern European NATO airspace, including Romania.
The Canadian detachment consists of approximately 135 personnel and five CF-188 Hornets fighters. Before officially beginning their mission Canadian pilots and personnel had to undergo a several day process, consisting of safety briefings and familiarization flights, organized by specialist personnel from the Combined Air Operations Centre. This so called certification process ensures pilots are ready to operate in unfamiliar NATO airspace.
Enhanced Air Policing is part of NATO's Assurance Measures introduced in 2014. At the time the Alliance started implementing these Assurance Measures with the goal to demonstrate the collective resolve of Allies, demonstrate the defensive nature of NATO and deter Russia from aggression or the threat of aggression against NATO Allies. It is the fourth time NATO member Canada is supporting the mission in Romania. From May to August 2018 a detachment of the Royal Air Force was based at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base with Typhoon fighters under the same mission.
Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office