The UK Government has announced deploying Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon jets in Romania to support the Nato Air Policing mission amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
The deployment will include four multi-role jets from 3 (Fighter) Squadron based at RAF Coningsby in the UK.
According to a UK Ministry of Defence statement, the Typhoon jets will participate in air policing patrols in the Black Sea region from Romania’s Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base.
Around 150 RAF personnel will form the headquarters of an Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) to support the mission, named Operation Biloxi.
The personnel recently completed training at RAF Leeming’s Operational Training Centre.
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UK Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said: “The UK remains committed to Nato and European security in the face of Russian aggression and the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
“Operation Biloxi is a long-standing Nato mission and the Royal Air Force are playing a central role in security and deterrence in Europe.”
Air policing is a defensive operation that seeks to secure Nato Alliance members’ airspaces. It began in 1961 as a permanent Nato mission during the Cold War.
The Nato airspace is being monitored by operations centres. If it detects hostile military aircraft, the centre may scramble Nato fighter jets on Quick Reaction Alert (QRA).
Commenting on the deployment, 11 Group commanding officer Air Vice-Marshal Phil Robinson said: “The arrival of our personnel and equipment in the region highlights the RAF’s continued commitment and contribution to the Nato Air Policing mission in Romania.
“During the deployment, we will be working alongside our Romanian and other Nato partners, enabling the delivery of the mission and protecting and reassuring our allies whilst building confidence and maintaining deterrence.”
RAF’s contingent in Romania is supported by personnel from No 1 Expeditionary Logistics Squadron and No 2 Mechanical Transport Squadron.
Both the squadrons have procured necessary equipment and supplies to maintain and sustain the Typhoon jets during the mission.
Earlier this month, RAF announced that its F-35B Lightning fighter jets joined Nato’s Enhanced Vigilance patrols.