RAF reinforces NATO air surveillance in Romania

RAF reinforces NATO air surveillance in Romania

Six RAF Typhoon aircraft join NATO for an air surveillance mission in Romania, reinforcing security on the alliance’s eastern borders.

RAF deployment in Romania

Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) has begun a four-month deployment to Romania to reinforce NATO’s air security on its eastern flank, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on April 9. The operation, part of NATO’s ongoing efforts to secure the airspace along its eastern border near the Black Sea, involves six Typhoon fighter jets from IX (Bomber) Squadron and over two hundred personnel from 140 Expeditionary Air Wing (140EAW), operating from RAF Lossiemouth. These forces are stationed at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania and will be carrying out operations in collaboration with the Romanian Air Force as part of the Enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission.

RAF reinforces NATO air surveillance in Romania

NATO’s enhanced air policing (eAP)

NATO introduced eAP to the south in 2014, following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, as a measure to reassure allied nations along the eastern flank. The UK’s contribution to the air policing mission, including this latest deployment, is part of a wider commitment to the alliance, which also includes a significant presence of British soldiers in Estonia as part of NATO’s enhanced forward presence.

RAF role in the mission

The RAF’s role in the mission involves Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) intercepts, primarily to identify and monitor Russian aircraft approaching NATO airspace without adequate communication or outside NATO-controlled regional air traffic agencies. Defense Secretary Grant Shapps stressed the importance of this mission, saying that NATO’s air policing deployment is helping to secure Europe’s skies, and paid tribute to the personnel dedicated to this crucial mission. He also underlined the readiness of Typhoon pilots to respond professionally to threats, contributing to NATO’s collective security.

The UK’s outlook and commitment to NATO

Air Commodore Martin Cunningham called the RAF’s return to Romania a proud moment, praising the thorough preparation and collaborative effort with Romanian colleagues, a gesture that underlines the UK’s commitment to NATO and demonstrates the RAF’s air power projection capability. 140 Expeditionary Air Wing Commander Wing Commander Karl Bird said the deployment would be the RAF’s fifth eAP rotation in Romania since the first iteration in 2014. “The missions contribute to the development of response and deterrence capability and are a strong sign of Alliance cohesion. Assuring that NATO is ready to secure the skies 24/7.”

RAF reinforces NATO air surveillance in Romania

This RAF deployment to Romania as part of NATO’s eAP is a testament to the UK’s ongoing commitment to collective security and deterrence in the Black Sea region, reinforcing the alliance’s defensive posture in a strategically sensitive area.

War Wings Daily is an independant magazine.