The air base in Mihail Kogalniceanu, Constanta County, on Tuesday hosted the certification ceremony of the Spanish Force detachment set to participate as a NATO structure in the Enhanced Air Policing missions in this area of Europe.
The Spanish detachment, made of 130 troops, pilots and technical personnel, equipped with six Eurofighter Typhoone aircraft, will carry out missions in the next two months together with Romanian Air Force troops, equipped with F-16 Fighting Falcon and MIG-21 LanceR aircraft.
In a speech during the ceremony, the commander of the Spanish detachment, Lieutenant Colonel Jose Enrique Hernandez Medel, said that the Enhanced Air Policing missions in which the Spanish troops have participated so far have demonstrated this country’s commitment to NATO’s policy and he underscored that the troops are ready for missions even in the context of the health crisis.
“The specific conditions of this mission are somewhat different due to the pandemic. All precautions have been taken, there are specific procedures that are applied to prevent the disease and its spread,” said the commander of the Spanish Air Force detachment.
In his turn, the Chief of the Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Daniel Petrescu, mentioned that the detachment within the Spanish Air Force is at its first participation as a NATO Enhanced Air Policing structure for the increase of the Romanian Air Force and in support of deterrence and defence measures of NATO.
“I would like to emphasize that the NATO Enhanced Air Policing mission is a collective defence mission in peacetime, designed to ensure the security of the Alliance’s airspace. The Enhanced Air Policing is part of the NATO security measures adopted in 2014 at the Wales Summit “Demonstrating the commitment of the Allies to deter any possible aggression. The Enhanced Air Policing Mission is a key component of how the alliance provides security to its members,” the defence chief said.
He underscored that the Spanish troops are experienced in missions in the Baltic states and said that the deployment of the detachment in Romania is part of the action plan to ensure operational capacity on the eastern flank.
“Spain’s contribution to this mission is a sign of Spain’s commitment to NATO and solidarity between member states, a clear message that together we are stronger. Your deployment here will strengthen the role of the Romanian Air Force and demonstrate solidarity and cohesion within the Alliance,” Daniel Petrescu also said.
In his opinion, the Spanish participation in missions in this area of Europe strengthens security in the region.
“According to the NATO 2030 – United for a New Era report, the peace that most Europeans have enjoyed in the last seven decades is a historic exception. NATO remains the guardian of this invaluable achievement. Through the extraordinary commitment of all allies, this achievement will be protected in the following years too. Romania is a key ally on the eastern flank, contributing to the defence of airspace in the region along with Canada, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom, allies that have so far carried out missions in Romania,” said the Chief of the Defence Staff, according to Agerpres.
Photo: Bogdan Pantilimon, www.mapn.ro