A symbolic overflight of a mixed formation of three Italian Eurofighter aircraft and three Romanian MiG-21 fighters showcased what this mission is about: demonstrate NATO's collective resolve, commitment and solidarity and deter any potential aggression. At the same time the enhanced Air Policing shows that Allies are capable of working together professionally to safeguard NATO airspace.
The ceremony was hosted by the Romanian Minister of Defence Gabriel Beniamin Les and the Romanian Chief of the Air Force, Major General Viorel Pana. Italy was represented by the Ambassador to Romania, Dr. Marco Giungi, and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Lieutenant General Alberto Rosso.
At the official start of the mission, General Servert handed over the certificate to the Italian Air Force Detachment Commander, Colonel Andrea Fazi. For the Italian Air Force this NATO deployment to Romania is a natural continuation of similar deployments to Iceland, Bulgaria and the Baltics allowing the team to draw on previous experiences from flying Air Policing missions over Allied territory.
In Romania their mission is to contribute to safeguarding national and adjacent international airspace. In practice this means Romanian MiG-21s and Italian Eurofighters will be flying alongside one another in Air Policing missions and training activities with each other and Allied forces in the area.
Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office based on information provided by Italian Air Force detachment