Six Spanish Air Force Eurofighters arrived at Mihail Koglaniceanu Air Base, Romania, on January 25 to start flying NATO air policing missions alongside the Romanian Air Force.
Operated by a 130-strong team of Spanish Air Force personnel, the Eurofighters will be deployed in Romania under NATO’s enhanced Air Policing mission to help patrol the Romanian airspace for two months.
This is the first time that Spain has sent their fighters to the southeast of NATO’s territory to support the alliance’s deterrence and defense measures.
The Spanish Air Force is a regular contributor to NATO Air Policing. Besides patrolling the national airspace under NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Torrejón, Spain, the Spanish Air Force has also conducted seven deployments leading and augmenting NATO’s Air Policing mission in the Baltic States controlled by the CAOC at Uedem, Germany.
The deployment to Romania is part of NATO’s enhanced air policing, a defensive mission introduced in 2014 to “demonstrate the collective resolve of allies and deter any aggression or the threat of aggression against NATO allies.”
Since its inception, Canada, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom have conducted enhanced air policing deployments. The dual benefits for allied nations involved in enhanced air policing is establishing training and operational relations with the Romanian Air Force and protecting alliance airspace on the Black Sea together.