A detachment of approximately 100 troops and four F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft of the Romanian Air Force will participate in an enhanced air policing mission in the Baltic states between April and July.
According to the Defence Ministry (MApN), the main objective of the mission to be carried out in the airspace of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is to prevent the violation of the NATO airspace and to provide assistance to military and civilian aircraft in flight emergencies.
The troops to be dispatched to Lithuania at the air base in Siauliai, mostly come from the 53rd Warhawks Fighter Squadron of the 86th Lieutenant aviator Gheorghe Mociornita Air Base.
The commander of the detachment, which bears the symbolic name of “Carpathian Vipers”, is Cosmin Vlad. He is an experienced pilot, a member of the Air Force Defence Staff team and he has represented the Romania Air Force in numerous national and international missions.
MApN says that between February 27 and March 3, a team from the Joint Forces Command and the Air Force Defence Staff tested the preparedness of the Carpathian Vipers detachment at the 86th Air Force Base.
The test comprised verifying and assessing operational procedures, equipping and staffing and testing the operational capacity.
The Enhanced Air Police Mission in the Baltic States under the command of NATO – Baltic Air Policing (BAP), as part of the military surveillance of the airspace of the Baltic states, is carried out on a rotation of tasks bases carried out by the NATO countries since 2004. In 2007, the Romanian Air Force also participated in this mission with four MiG-21 LanceRs of the 71st General Emanoil Ionescu Air Base at Campia Turzii, Agerpres informs.