A ceremony at the detachments home base, the Romanian Air Force Base at Mihail Kogalniceanu, marked the beginning of the mission, which is going to last until December 2020. Honoring NATO member Canada’s commitment to the Alliance, the ceremony was attended by high ranking civilian and military officials from Canada, NATO and Romania, amongst them his Excellency Kevin Hamilton, Ambassador of Canada to Romania, Lieutenant General Ruben Servert, Commander of NATO’s southern Combined Air Operations Centre at Torrejón, Spain, and Major General Viorel Pana, Chief of the Romanian Air Force staff.
“Two independent Air Forces teaming up to secure the NATO skies; that’s the right spirit of solidarity that the Alliance is all about”, said Lieutenant Servert. “My gratitude goes to both the Romanian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force and, all of your personnel. As an international allied team of professional Airmen, I am confident that you will accomplish the goal of safeguarding the integrity of the Romanian airspace”, he added. His unit at Torrejón is responsible for the tactical control of all NATO Air Policing conducted south of the Alps, including over Romania.
Two independent Air Forces teaming up to secure the NATO skies; that’s the right spirit of solidarity that the Alliance is all about.
For the duration of the mission 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. Enhanced Air Policing was introduced in 2014 as a part of NATO’s Assurance Measures, implemented 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. The Royal Canadian Air Force has since then supported the mission regularly. The beginning deployment marks the fifth time Canada has been sending a detachment to Romania in support of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing.