NATO officially certified the Royal Air Force Typhoon detachment ready to conduct enhanced Air Policing alongside the Romanian Air Force.
During a ceremony at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania, NATO’s representative, Air Commodore Jason Appleton, Deputy Chief of Staff Support at Allied Air Command in Ramstein presenteed the mission-ready certificate to the Royal Air Force detachment. Senior representatives from Romania, Mrs Cojocaru Simona, State Secretary at the Romanian Ministry of National Defence and Lieutenant General Vasile Toader, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, were joined by Mr. Andrew James Noble, UK Ambassador to Romania, and Air Vice-Marshal Ian Duguid, Air Officer Commanding 11 Group of the Royal Air Force.
“This long-planned deployment showcases Allied solidarity, interoperability and cooperation,” said Air Commodore Appleton, Deputy Chief of Staff Support at Allied Air Command in Ramstein, Germany during the event. “Following on from the successful Spanish Air Force deployment, this provides a further demonstration of NATO’s ability to assure allies with a credible deterrence and defensive posture in the air,” he added.
The Typhoons will be flying sorties alongside the Romanian Air Force under the control of NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre Torrejón, Spain, and the Romanian Control and Reporting Centre to protect the airspace on the southwestern shores of the Black Sea.
“As we celebrate 60 years of NATO Air Policing, the opportunity for the Romanian Air Force, the Royal Air Force and NATO Command and Control structures to test and validate procedures, systems and tactics means that NATO can continue to draw on coordinated and integrated Allied Air Forces to provide a single airspace security standard across NATO’s area of responsibility,” Air Commodore Appleton added.
Allied fighter deployments to Romania have been the new normal under NATO’s enhanced Air Policing arrangements that the Alliance approved in 2014. For more than seven years, the goal has been to assure NATO Allies and their populations and to deter aggression or the threat of aggression.
For the third time after 2017 and 2018, Royal Air Force Typhoons have supported this mission partnering with the Romanian Air Force and demonstrating their commitment to the Alliance.
Four british Typhoons from IX(B) Squadron flew into Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase on the Black Sea coast near Constanta, Romania where they will carry out the NATO enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission for this summer’s deployment. The mission enhances the national Air Policing conducted by the Romanian Air Force as part of the NATO collective air defence system.
The IX(B) Squadron detachment is augmented by other personnel from across the Service to form 121 EAW – Expeditionary Air Wing, which consists of around 180 personnel who will be well equipped and trained to deliver this NATO enhanced Air Policing role. 121 EAW has deployed to conduct this important NATO mission despite the COVID-19 pandemic and all necessary measures have been taken to ensure that both UK and Romanian mandated precautions are being followed. NATO accreditation is awarded following a period of training by 121 EAW to test and assure its air policing procedures.