Personnel and fighter jets from Spain and Bulgaria have commenced the joint operation to support Nato’s enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission.
The two countries will undertake multiple joint operations between 14 November and 2 December to safeguard the skies above the eastern flank.
The Spanish Air Force has deployed a total of six Eurofighter F-2000 Typhoon aircraft along with nearly 150 personnel for this mission. The aircraft and personnel arrived in Bulgaria on 11 November.
Spanish detachment commander major Zarza said: “Joint deployments like this are a testament to interoperability of our air forces within the alliance and is a great success for Nato.”
During this three-week-long deployment, the Bulgarian and Spanish aircraft will conduct different missions to ensure the safety and security of Nato allies and partner nations.
Besides, the deployed forces will undertake several tasks associated with the Standing Air and Missile Defence Plan, under the Nato Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS).
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Since 2014, the Bulgarian Air Force’s MiG-29 fighter jets together with other nations’ Nato fighter detachments, including Italy, the US and Spain, have been conducting joint missions from Graf Ignatievo Air Base in Plovdiv, Bulgaria to support Nato’s eAP arrangements.
Nato’s Air Policing mission is conducted to maintain the safety of alliances’ airspace by using the combined capabilities of several allied and partner countries’ forces.
Bulgarian Air Force commander major general Dimitar Petrov said: “The Bulgarian Air Force will continue to provide its national contribution to NATINAMDS.
“The combined employment of Bulgarian and Spanish Air Force equipment and personnel in Nato eAP proves the capability of Bulgaria’s combat aviation to act in an integrated manner with allies’ forces; collectively, to patrol and protect the airspace of the member states of alliance.”