Over this period the Air Task Force showed its flexibility by delivering both assurance and deterrence missions in the same afternoon. The CF-188 Hornet fighter jets intercepted a Russian Su-27 Flanker operating near Romanian airspace over the Black Sea on September 23, 2020.
The CF-188s were scrambled by NATO’s southern Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejon, after the Russian aircraft was detected by the Romanian Air Force’s Control and Reporting Centre. The Canadian pilots carefully monitored the Russian aircraft until it left the Romanian flight information region.
On the same day the Canadian CF-188s escorted the B-52 bombers of their transatlantic neighbours from the United States Air Force Bomber Task Force. The mission was joined by Romanian F-16 jets in a show of NATO’s effectiveness and cohesion while underlining US and Canadian engagement for security in the region.
Taxiing in after the intercept, the whole Air Task Force was energized. This is what we are here for and morale is high
“We achieved exactly what Canadian pilots from Air Task Force Romania are expected to do. Taxiing in after the intercept, the whole Air Task Force was energized. This is what we are here for and morale is high when we get to use our skills for such an important mission as enhanced Air Policing. I am immensely proud of my team whose hard work made conducting simultaneous assurance and deterrence missions for NATO possible, especially so early in our deployment.” Said Lieutenant-Colonel David McLeod, Commander of Air Task Force – Romania
This intercept was the first for the Air Task Force which started its mission earlier this month following a NATO certification ceremony on September 3, 2020. During their deployment, Canadian fighter pilots will hold quick reaction alert and fly training missions together with the Romanian Air Force, as well as other regional allies.