Allied radars detected unidentified tracks flying from Crimea in the western parts of the Black Sea; when the tracks headed towards NATO territory, the Combined Air Operations Centre at Torrejón Spain alerted and launched Allied fighter aircraft from Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria to respond to the tracks which were identified as a Russian military aircraft. Besides visual identification the Allied fighter aircraft established so-called Combat Air Patrol patterns; these holding patterns allowing them to loiter and respond quickly if needed. Each time, the Allied fighters returned to their respective bases when the event was concluded.
These routine measures were conducted in a coordinated and professional manner, safeguarding the airspace of NATO Allies in the South East. They underline the capabilities and interoperability of Allies and NATO’s ability to conduct concerted defensive measures. These routine Air Policing events brought together Allied surveillance and control systems, Air Command and Control units and fighter aircraft demonstrating the Alliance is vigilant and responsive 24/7, ready to conduct coherent deterrence and defence across all is European Allies.