Chief of the German Air Force, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Major General Viorel Pana, signed on Thursday, during a ceremony held at the 57th Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, the Declaration of Intent on the Development of Bilateral Relations in the aviation sector.
On this occasion, in the presence of the head of the German Air Force, the Deputy Commander Operations of the head of the British Royal Air Force, Air Marshal Gerry Mayhew and the head of the Romanian Air Force, a demonstration task on the joint execution of an enhanced Air Policing mission.
The demonstration was attended by aircraft belonging to the MiG-21 LanceR detachment, along with Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft belonging to the British Royal Air Force and the German Air Force, deployed at 57th Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base.
The head of the German Air Force, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, mentioned that NATO is a defensive organization, able to face any challenges and threats.
“Two Eurofighter planes arrived at the NATO Base in Constanta, Romania, a few days ago, with a very clear message (…) of solidarity between NATO nations. We are together, proving that NATO is a defensive organization, capable of facing any challenges and, yes, threats. This is why, for the first time, the German Air Force is patrolling along the borders of states on NATO’s south-eastern flank alongside British and Romanian allies,” said Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz.
According to Deputy Commander Operations of the head of the British Royal Air Force, Air Marshal Gerry Mayhew, the event at 57th Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base is a clear demonstration of NATO allies’ willingness to work together.
“Today’s event [July 1] is a clear demonstration of NATO’s collective will to work together within the Alliance. (…) In a complex and challenging operational environment, we need to understand, make decisions and act quickly and as accurately as possible,” said Gerry Mayhew.
“In the context of the crisis in Ukraine, a series of measures have been adopted at NATO level since 2014 to support NATO states belonging to the eastern flank. One of them was the development and implementation of a new concept, the enhanced Air Policing (…), to demonstrate NATO solidarity,” said, in his turn, the head of the Romanian Air Force, Major General Viorel Pană.
According to him, the British, German and Romanian air forces will train daily to carry out air defense missions.
“Starting with July 1, the military, both pilots and specialists from the British, German and Romanian air forces will train daily in the execution of air defense missions, but will also execute (…) real air policing missions or training missions (…) Air policing is a component of the general air defense mission, a component that is executed in peacetime and aims to prevent the unauthorized use of the airspace of the respective country, of the Alliance,” the chief of the Romanian Air Force added.
On Friday, according to the Ministry of National Defense, servicemen with the three air forces will conduct an enhanced Air Defense Exercise – ADEX. The execution of this exercise also includes the interception of a “target” aircraft, represented by a C – 27 J Spartan transport aircraft operated by the Romanian Air Force, on the route Otopeni Air Base 90 – 57th Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, by F16 Fighting Falcon aircraft belonging to the Romanian Air Force in the permanent combat service and air policing and, subsequently, of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft of the British Royal Air Force and the German Air Force.
At the end of the activity, after the landing of the aircraft participating in the exercise, an exhibition of aviation equipment will be organized at the 57th Air Base.
According to the Ministry of National Defense, the ADEX exercise planned for July 2 represents a joint training mission of the allied air forces and naval means in the national airspace and on the international territory of the Black Sea.
The joint air policing missions contribute to the development of the reaction and deterrence capacity, as well as to the consolidation of the interoperability between the Romanian, British and German Air Forces.
The Romanian Air Force has been performing Air Policing mission under the command of CAOC Torrejon since the beginning of NATO membership. NATO enhanced Air Policing is a peacetime collective defense mission to protect the integrity of the Alliance’s airspace. At any moment, two fighter jets are prepared for the Air Policing Combat Service at the 57th Air Base Mihail Kogalniceanu.
The main mission of the combat- Air Policing service is to defend the national airspace, by intercepting aircraft entering the national territory without authorization, for various reasons.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the first NATO air policing mission.
Photo: Facebook/Fortele Aeriene Romane