Approximately 140 pilots and technical personnel from the Italian Air Force and four fighter jets will carry out, in the next four months, Enhanced Air Police missions under NATO command, alongside the Romanian Air Force troops, with the certification ceremony of the Italian detachment taking place on Wednesday, at the 57th Air Base Mihail Kogalniceanu.
According to the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Daniel Petrescu, enhancing the Air Police service by supplementing the air defence capabilities is one of the measures taken in ensuring security on NATO’s Eastern flank.
“The Italian Air Force troops have extensive experience in NATO sky defence missions. In Romania, the 140 soldiers and the four Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft (…) increase the personnel and means of the Romanian Air Force. Enhancing the Air Police service, by supplementing the air defence capabilities both in the Northern part of the Eastern flank, in the Polish area and the Baltic states, and in its Southern part, respectively in Romania and Bulgaria, was among the security measures taken as part of NATO’s response to the changing security situation,” said Petrescu.
Commander of the Italian Military Air Force Major General Francesco Vestito said it was a privilege for the Italian Air Force to participate in the Air Police service with the four Eurofighter aircraft.
“It is a privilege for the Italian Air Force to be together today, with the Eurofighter component, to defend the sky of Romania and the NATO alliance. It has been almost 6 years since the sky police programme started running. It is a continuous operation, which takes places every day, defending the sky and security of the people. We contribute an entire component and I am very happy to receive this certification. We can’t wait to participate in the actions of the sky police. Italy is dedicated to this,” said Vestito.
Italy’s Ambassador to Romania, Alfredo Maria Durante Mangoni, underscored Italy’s contribution to ensuring Romania’s security in the Black Sea area.
“Italy is contributing to Romania’s security in the strategic Black Sea area, which is a difficult area in terms of security, as it has done for the benefit of other allies on the Eastern flank, by monitoring and pursuing the integrity of the airspace. We are fortunate to have this opportunity to contribute and optimize the use of methods, personnel and professional skills to better protect NATO airspace, to develop interoperability while minimizing cost and also increasing impact, in terms of training standards. This is a good example of cooperation between Romania and Italy, in the broad area of defence,” said the Italian diplomat.
The Italian detachment, consisting of about 140 soldiers (pilots and technical personnel) and four Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, will carry out enhanced Air Policing missions under NATO command in the next four months, together with troops belonging to the Romanian Air Force and F-16 Fighting Falcon and MiG-21 LanceR aicraft.
The current rotation is the second of the Italian Air Force troops under Mihail Kogalniceanu, after the one in 2019.
Joint air police missions contribute to the development of response and deterrence capacity, as well as to the strengthening of interoperability between the Romanian and Italian Air Forces.
The deployment of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft in Romania is part of the implementation of the Action Plan to ensure NATO’s operational capability on the Eastern flank of the Alliance in both the Northern and Southern areas and proves NATO’s unity and determination in responding to security challenges, Agerpres informs.
Photo: Facebook/Ambascaiata d’Italia a Bucarest