NATO has substantially increased the number of fighter jets on alert across Eastern Europe in response to Russia's unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
NATO's enhanced vigilance is a powerful statement of Alliance resolve and cohesion [that demonstrates] our commitment to protect every inch of NATO territory of all our Allies
"NATO air forces have bolstered their presence in the eastern part of the Alliance helping to shield NATO against any aggression. Several dozen fighter jets are on alert at any time to response to possible airspace violations and to deter aggression," said Headquarters Allied Air Command Chief of Staff, Major General Jörg Lebert. "Allied Air Command integrates the Allied air forces' fighters, air-to-air refuelling and transport aircraft as well as Allied and NATO airborne warning and control (AWACS) platforms into the standing arrangements to safeguard the skies above the Allies. These assets enable NATO to patrol the Allied airspace and have 24/7 situational awareness above NATO and adjacent territory," he added.
Representation of NATO and Allied Air Forces' contribution to the Alliance's enhanced Vigilance Activities bolstering the posture along the eastern flank.
Infographic by NATO Headquarters -schematic as at May 2022.
Allied fighters take off from their home bases, forward deployment bases or carriers flying Air Patrol missions along the Alliance's eastern flank.
A Joint Force Air Component (JFAC) was stood up at Allied Air Command to plan, task and control Allied aircraft flying enhanced Vigilance Activities. Both Combined Air Operations Centres in Uedem, Germany, and Torrejón, Spain, and the Deployable Command and Control Centre at Poggio Renatico, Italy, have sent personnel to augment the JFAC for the mission.
"NATO's enhanced vigilance is a powerful statement of Alliance resolve and cohesion under the umbrella of Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area concept," said Major General Lebert. "These activities are prudent and defensive measures that increase our readiness, underpin Alliance war prevention aims, and clearly demonstrate our commitment to protect every inch of NATO territory of all our Allies," Major General Lebert concluded.