CONSTANTA, Romania – A detachment of the Royal Air Force (RAF) was certified "Mission Ready" to commence NATO's enhanced Air Policing mission in Romania on Friday, Apr. 27, 2018. For the next four months pilots of the RAF will fly alongside their Romanian colleagues, securing the NATO skies over Romania.
The certificate of mission readiness was presented to the RAF detachment commander by Lieutenant General Ruben Servert, Commander of NATO's southern Combined Air Operations Centre, located in Torrejon, Spain. The ceremony was attended by high ranking civilian and military guests from NATO, the United Kingdom and Romania, amongst them the State Secretary of Romania's Ministry of Defence, Mircea Dusa.
"Such deployments showcase the ability of the Alliance to interoperate, share and pool capabilities, and to adapt and scale our defensive deterrence posture" said Lieutenant General Servert. "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" he stated in a speech to the detachment, guests and invited media.
The ceremony completes a three day process in which the detachment's pilots and personnel had to undergo safety briefings, conduct familiarization flights and ensure interoperability with their Romanian hosts and colleagues. Allied Air Command, NATO's authority for all Integrated Air and Missile Defence matters, delegates the responsibility for the certification process to Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejon. As southern command and control unit for Air Policing, it is responsible for all NATO airspace south of the Alps, including Romania.
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.
Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office