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Jan 25 2024

Italy provides continuous support to NATO’s Air Policing posture

RAMSTEIN, Germany – Italian F-35 fighters continue their deployment at Malbork Air Base, Poland, supporting the enhanced Air Policing and NATO’s deterrence and defence mission on the eastern flank.

Italy’s commitment to the Alliance continues ensuring the right security framework on NATO's eastern flank

“Italy’s commitment to the Alliance continues even in this rotational block. It makes us proud to provide our service to the community of allied countries in order to ensure the right security framework on NATO’s eastern flank,” said the Italian Detachment Commander, Colonel Antonio VERGALLO. “The F35s, deployed here, are the most advanced weapon system which, in addition to carrying out the assigned mission of defending NATO airspace, represent an integrated system capable of offering invaluable opportunities for interoperability between fourth and fifth generation aircraft in a multi-domain context,” he added.

Members of the Italian F-35 Task Force Air clearing the apron area outside a hangar at Malbork Air Base, Poland. Photo by Italian Air Force.
Two Italian F-35 fighter jets taxiing at Malbork Air Base, where the jets have been deployed since September 2013. Photo by Italian Air Force.
The four Italian Air Force F-35s taxiing at Malbork Air Base; from mid-February on, Italy will replace them with Eurofighter jets continuing their support for the NATO mission. Photo by Italian Air Force.
An Italian Air Force F-35 during take-off for a traininig flight at Malbork Air Base supporting NATO's enhanced Air Policing and Deterrence and Defend activities. Photo by Italian Air Force.

The modern fighter aircraft initially arrived at Malbork in September 2023 and after a short break redeployed to Poland in November 2023. The 150-strong Italian detachment – also known as Task Force Air 32nd Wing – and its four F-35s will remain on station until mid-February when the Italian presence in NATO’s enhanced Air Policing mission will continue with a Eurofighter detachment. 

Enhanced Air Policing was introduced as part of NATO’s Assurance Measures introduced in 2014. At the time, the Alliance started implementing these Assurance Measures with the goal to demonstrate the collective resolve of Allies, demonstrate the defensive nature of NATO and deter Russia from aggression or the threat of aggression against NATO Allies. For ten years, enhanced Air Policing missions have been conducted in the Baltics and in Poland as a new normal underlining Allied commitment to deterrence and defence along the eastern flank collectively safeguarding NATO airspace.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office based on input provided by the Italian Task Force Air 32nd Wing

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