Spanish Eurofighters deployed in Constanta, Romania, to safeguard the airspace at the southeastern border of the Alliance alongside the Romanian Air Force have participated in the Romanian multinational Sea Shield exercise. Naval forces from different NATO countries are taking part in this exercise, together with the Romanian and the Spanish Air Forces units to boost air-maritime interoperability.
Moreover, this operation demonstrates the flexibility and interoperability of NATO forces
"This exercise presents a great training opportunity for the 11th Air Wing personnel deployed in Romania. Moreover, this operation demonstrates the flexibility and interoperability of NATO forces," said Spanish Detachment Commander, Lieutenant Colonel José Enrique Hernández Medel. "On the other hand, the participation of the Spanish Eurofighters, given their high performance and capabilities, allows an increase in the level of training from which all the participating forces will benefit," he added.
Spanish Eurofighter provides top cover to the multinational naval task force operating in the Black Sea. Photo courtesy of Allied Maritime Command.
The air effort consisted of daily sorties of Spanish Eurofighters together with Romanian F-16s and MiG-21s. They played various roles ranging from acting as the aggressor and harassing the deployed naval force to a simulated direct attack on the fleet, including Air-to-Surface Missile profiles and cannon attacks.
The exercise was rounded off with the Spanish Eurofighters taking the side of the Allied forces. They provided an area defence to cover the naval force and protect it from the attacking force, which consisted of 2 F-16 and 2 Mig-21 fighters of the Romanian Air Force. The detailed programme enabled all units to fine tune their tactics, techniques and procedures and enhance Alliance readiness in the region.
The participation of the Spanish Eurofighters was controlled by the Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón, Spain, and coordinated through the Control and Reporting Centre in Bucharest. All NATO air operations within the area of responsibility are monitored and controlled through this chain of command. On this occasion, close coordination with the naval forces present in the area was also required in order to achieve maximum efficiency in the execution of the missions.