Aircraft and personnel from the Italian and Spanish Air Forces have been deployed to continue Nato’s Enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission in Romania.
The deployment aims to secure and safeguard the Black Sea coast.
As part of the deployment, a total of four Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft and personnel from Italy have already arrived at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania, on 25 November.
The aircraft and personnel, collectively designated as Task Force Air Romania (TFA-R) ‘Gladiator’, belong to the Italian Air Force Eurofighter Wings 4, 36, 37 and 51.
All four Italian Eurofighter jets will carry out various flying operations together with the Romanian aircraft.
The mission will begin in December and continue until the end of July 2023.
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Meanwhile, the Spanish Air Force has deployed its six F-18 aircraft that arrived at Romania’s Fetesti Air Base on 25 November.
The Spanish detachment will operate together with the Romanian and Italian fighter jets to conduct Nato’s eAP mission to monitor and secure the alliance’s airspace over the next four months.
The F-18 jets will also support the alliance’s enhanced vigilance activities during this deployment.
Italian TFA-R commander colonel Michele Morelli said: “By deploying Italian fighters, the alliance demonstrates a reliable, robust and effective capability for the Nato eAP and Nato Air Shielding missions along the eastern flank.
“Our national contribution in Romania underlines the alliance’s ability to resolve and to adapt swiftly to any changes in the international security environment, by defending every inch of Nato territory.”
Nato began conducting the eAP mission from Mihail Kogalniceanu base, near Constanța on the Black Sea Coast, in 2014 and the allied nation forces have since been supporting an air policing posture on the eastern flank.