Minister of National Defense Gabriel Les said on Tuesday at the Mihail Kogalniceanu 57th Air Base on the occasion of the certification ceremony for the enhanced air service of the Italian detachment, that it highlights NATO’s serious commitment to the collective defense missions.
“The presence of the Italian detachment in Romania highlights NATO’s serious commitment to collective defense missions and, at the same time, the ability of the Alliance to adapt its defense and deterrence position to the increasingly complex challenges of the current security environment,” said the minister of National Defense.
Gabriel Les recalled that the Italian detachment, consisting of approximately 130 airmen deployed at the 57th Air Base in Mihail Kogalniceanu with four aircraft Eurofighter Typhoon, will carry out in the next four months NATO-backed missions under NATO command, together with the Forces Romanian Air Force (FAR).
In this context, the minister of National Defense reiterated that such air missions are coordinated by NATO and strictly protect and respond to unauthorized intrusion into the eastern European Alliance airspace.
“Enhanced Air Policing (eAP) is a type of mission launched in May 2014, carried out in several countries on the Alliance’s Eastern Flank, aimed at ensuring allied air security. It is a collective task and it involves the temporary deployment of intercepting aircraft to NATO countries on the eastern flank, aircraft ready to react quickly to the situations occurring in the vicinity of the Alliance’s airspace. The planes carrying out the eAP are under NATO command through the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) in Torrejon, Spain, and are ready for combat in minutes, being prepared to respond to unclear or unsafe situations in NATO’s area of responsibility, both to civil and non-NATO military planes, Gabriel Les said.