The Canadian Air Force is a well known guest at Mihail Kogalniceanu Airbase, Romania as their concluding rotation is the fourth time Alliance member Canada has been contributing to NATO's enhanced Air Policing mission from Romania. Canadian and Romanian Air Force pilots and staff have thus been forming a proven and successful team to secure the skies of the Alliance. During their current deployment members of the Canadian detachment have conducted regular training with their Romanian colleagues, including flight operations, emergency response, flight safety, aircraft maintenance as well as command and control. Altogether Canadian pilots have completed a total of 500 hours of flying together with their Romanian counterparts. Moreover they have successfully participated in several exercises inside and outside Romanian airspace, such as Exercise Silver Arrow, together with NATO's multinational Battlegroup in Latvia, Exercise Blue Bridge, together with the Bulgarian Air Force and NATO's Exercise Ramstein Dust in Romania.
NATO's enhanced Air Policing is part of the Alliance's Assurance Measures introduced in 2014, after Russia's illegal and illegitimate annexation of the Crimean peninsula. The Alliance implemented 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. They are flexible and scalable in response to fluctuations in the security situation facing the Alliance and send a strong, unambiguous message of Allied solidarity to the public.
One of the Canadian CF-188 fighter jets flying alongside three Romanian MiG-21s during the Canadian Air Force's deployment to Romania under NATO's enhanced Air Policing mission. Photo by Erica Seymour.