Four Italian Air Force Eurofighters aircraft arrived at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania for a four-month deployment under NATO's enhanced Air Policing mission taking over responsibility from the Canadian Air Force.
The Italian Air Force Eurofighter detachment is ready to conduct enhanced Air Policing missions alongside their Romanian MiG-21 counterparts.
"I'm happy to welcome back our Air Task Force from their busy and successful operations in Romania as part of NATO's enhanced Air Policing mission. Canadian Armed Forces members integrated very well with our NATO Allies in the region, including Romania who graciously hosted us. Standing shoulder to shoulder with our NATO allies, our members and CF-188 Hornet aircraft helped deliver NATO assurance and deterrence measures in the region since 2014. We wish members of the Italian Air Force all the best as they assume Air Policing duties at Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base," said Gen. Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff.
This mission is part of Italy's contribution to NATO's assurance and deterrence measures. These measures demonstrate the collective resolve of Allies, the defensive nature of NATO, and help deter the threat of aggression against NATO Allies.
"NATO Air Policing is a vital part of collective defence, which serves as a backbone for the Alliance. It demonstrates the cohesion of the Allies to defend and to deter any potential threat that try to put our nations at risk. It provides 24/7 airspace safety and security over the member nations by using Air Command and Control, Air Surveillance and Control Systems, and quick Reaction Alert aircraft, supported in their respective Air Bases by our allies' countries," said Lt General Fernando De la Cruz, Commander of Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón.
"Italian Air Forces have a wide experience in defending NATO's sky. In Romania, the 140 servicemen and 4 Eurofighter Typhoon airplanes, which constitutes the Task Force Air Black Storm, enhance the personnel and aircraft of Romanian Air Forces which assures Air Policing Service. Strengthening NATO Air Policing, through enhancing national capabilities with allied ones, has become the new normal within the Alliance when it comes to proving security for its members and consolidating the deter and defense posture. Romania, a key ally on the Eastern flank, contributes to the defense of NATO's air space in the Black Sea Region, and its contribution is being enhanced with additional British, Canadian, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish air capabilities, in a rotating system. Providing relevant military capabilities on the Alliance's Eastern flack is and it will continue to be essential to us.We aim to strengthen the unitary and synchronized advanced presence on allied territory, including the Black Sea, along with assuring regional stability, which contributes to the maintaining of overall Euro-Atlantic security," said of General Daniel Petrescu, Romanian Chief of Defence Staff.