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Dec 9 2022

NATO’s rotational deterrence and defence posture in Romania declared mission ready

FETESTI, Romania – During a ceremony at Borcea Air Base on December 9, 2022, NATO declared the Italian and Spanish fighter detachments deployed in Romania ready to execute the Air Policing mission alongside the Romanian Air Force.

Lieutenant General Fernando de la Cruz, Commander of NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Torrejón, Spain presented the Mission Ready Certificate to the Italian Air Force detachment and the Spanish Air and Space Force detachment. All missions are fully integrated into the Romanian defence system. “They are controlled by the Control and Reporting Centre in Moara Vlăsiei, tactically commanded by CAOC Torrejón and their operations is overseen by NATO´s Allied Air Command in Germany,” said General de la Cruz, adding: “This is a clear example of the spirit of cooperation and solidarity we share in the Alliance. NATO is now performing more missions to shield, assure and defend our nations,” the general added.

This is a clear example of the spirit of Alliance cooperation and solidarity. NATO is now performing more missions to shield, assure and defend our nations
Three Allies are flying alongside each other protecting the skies above Romania demonstrating Alliance commitment and cohesion.
Photo courtesy Romanian Air Force.
During his speech the Commander of Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón  commended Romania, Italy and Spain for their support to NATO Air Policing. 
Photo courtesy Romanian Air Force.
The Commander of Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón, LtGen Fernando de la Cruz handed over the mission ready certificate to the Italian detachment.
Photo courtesy Romanian Air Force.
Senior representatives of Romania, led by the Minister of Defence, Mr. Angel Tîlvăr (third from right), Italy and Spain attended the ceremony at Borcea Air Base.Photo courtesy Romanian Air Force.

On a daily basis, four Italian Eurofighters based at Mihail Kogalniceanu will fly together with eight Spanish F-18 jets and Romanian F-16 fighters based at Fetesti. Their mission is to protect the skies and to maintain the adequate level of training under a NATO banner of enhanced Air Policing, Air Shielding and Assurance missions.

The two Allied fighter detachments arrived in country at the mid of November; the Italian deployment will last until July and the Spanish deployment will end in March. Both detachments support NATO’s enhanced Air Policing and bolster the Alliance’s deter and defend posture on the Black Sea coast. Allies continue to support this mission with rotational deployments.

“Today my appreciation goes to the Romanian authorities for your constant support and the Italian and Spanish Air Forces, including all of your personnel, for the high level of commitment that has allowed this enhanced Air Policing as part of the shielding missions as well as the assurance missions to happen. I am confident that you will accomplish the goal of safeguarding the integrity of the Romanian airspace as you have done in several previous years, whilst maintaining an adequate level training,” General de la Cruz concluded.

Besides declaring the two fighter detachments mission ready, General de la Cruz also visited other NATO assets deployed to Romania. He met with members of the French MAMBA surface-based air defence system that collaborates with Romania protecting the Air Base at Mihail Kogalniceanu and of the Spanish TPS-43 radar detachment at Schitu that is tied into NATO’s regional system of sensors.

The four detachments the Allies deployed to Romania are operating under NATO authorities and the CAOC at Torrejón is planning, coordinating and controlling these operations. Supporting NATO Air Shielding, they provide an increased and sustainable air and missile defence posture along NATO’s eastern flank. The collective mission is designed to shield NATO territory against air and missile threats in the aftermath of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office based on information provided by CAOC Torrejón

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