The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is to take responsibility of Nato’s enhanced air policing mission in Romania.
Four Typhoon FGR4 fighter aircraft from the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) have spent five months defending Nato’s airspace over the Black Sea.
Under the code-name Operation BILOXI, the Typhoons from 3(F) Squadron, RAF Coningsby, were deployed to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in April, as part of the RAF’s 135 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW).
The Nato mission was supported by more than 300 regular and reserve RAF personnel from 16 RAF units.
The RAF’s Typhoons, which were deployed to Romania in response to Russian air activity over the Black Sea, flew more than 280 sorties to support Nato training with Romanian, Hungarian, and Bulgarian armed forces.
135 EAW commanding officer wing commander Andy Coe said: “In our five months here, we were ambassadors for the RAF Whole Force, and for a truly global Britain.
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"We learned much from our Romanian friends, even as we passed on our experience to them and to our other allies in the region. It’s been a privilege to lead a team who have embraced Nato’s principles with complete enthusiasm and dedication.”
The RCAF’s Air Task Force Romania, comprising 135 specialists from across the Canadian Armed Forces, is set to achieve Nato certification on 31 August.
The certification is the final stage in RCAF’s preparation to lead the enhanced air policing mission.
The RCAF sent four CF-188 Hornet fighter aircraft from 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron to Romania on 20 August to patrol the skies after receiving Nato certification.
Two of the RAF’s Typhoons will join Nato training with the British Army in Estonia.
Image: RAF Typhoons hand over Nato Romania duties to Canada. Photo: courtesy of MOD Crown Copyright.