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Canadian CF-18 jets start enhanced Air Policing mission in Romania

The Canadian Armed Forces Air Task Force – Romania formally received their readiness certification from NATO during a certification ceremony held at the Romanian Air Force Base Mihail Kogalniceanu. This certification allows the Task Force to officially begin their enhanced Air Policing mission on Saturday, 5 September.

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Canadian CF 188 jets start enhanced air policing mission in romania

Allied crews ready for the upcoming deployment stand by a Canadian CF-18 Hornet (Picture source: NATO/Bogdan Pantelimon)

NATO enhanced Air Policing has been part of its assurance and deterrence measures since 2014. These measures demonstrate the solidarity of Allies, the defensive nature of NATO, and strengthens the security of NATO airspace against any potential aggressor.
“NATO Air Policing is part of the principle of collective defence as a backbone for the Alliance. It demonstrates the cohesion of the Allies to defend and to deter any aggression or threat of aggression against any NATO member,” said Lieutenant General Fernando de la Cruz Caravaca, Commander Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) Torrejón. “It provides 24/7 airspace safety and security over the member nations by using Air Command and Control, Air Surveillance and Control Systems, and quick Reaction Alert aircraft.”

During this mission, the detachment from the Royal Canadian Air Force, consisting of approximately 135 personnel and six CF-188 Hornet fighter jets, will help secure the skies over Romania. They will work alongside the Romanian Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons and MiG-21 Lancers until December 2020. In addition to flying NATO Air Policing missions controlled by CAOC Torrejón, they will also undertake combined training with other Allies on the shores of the Black Sea.

The deployment will also give Allied Air Forces the opportunity to improve interoperability and enhance capabilities while demonstrating NATO’s resolve to protect its interests in the Black Sea Region. The continued support of Canada with their deployment to Europe underscores the transatlantic link among Allies.

As a long-standing force provider to the enhanced Air Policing mission in Romania, this is the fifth time Canada has contributed to the NATO mission following deployments in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. In 2020 they can successfully build on the already strong, established relationships with Romania and other NATO Allies and help to support regional stability.