A detachment of the Royal Canadian Air Force was certified on Wednesday by the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) to carry out enhanced air policing missions, according to the Romanian Defence Ministry (MApN).
Senior official with MApN's Department for Defence Policy, Planning and International Affairs Simona Cojocaru attended, together with Canadian ambassador in Bucharest Annick Goulet and Commander of NATO's Combined Air Operation Centre at Torrejon Air Base, Spain, Fernando de la Cruz Caravaca, the NATO certification ceremony at the Mihail Kogalniceanu 57th Air Base.
"Ensuring airspace security is extremely important to Romania, as well as to the entire Eastern flank of NATO. This mission also offers the ability to respond quickly and efficiently to any potential aggression, strengthening interoperability and strengthening bilateral ties with our allies. Canada is not limited to air policing missions, as Canada is participating in all three NATO multinational structures in Romania: MNBDE SE, MND SE HQ and MNC SE HQ," said Cojocaru, Agerpres informs.
She pointed out that it is imperative that NATO's deterrence and defence posture be strengthened by ensuring a forward NATO presence on the Eastern flank, as well as by continuing to develop NATO's capabilities and strengthen its ability to deal with threats of any nature and origin.
Canada's ambassador to Romania Annick Goulet is quoted as commending the good collaboration between the Romanian and Canadian military and highlighting that Canada's participation in the NATO air policing mission demonstrates the close and privileged relationship between the two countries in all areas.
CAOC Torrejon Commander de la Cruz noted in his remarks that the ceremony marks a very important moment for the alliance, with the presence of the Canadian detachment in Romania for the sixth time emphasising the lasting transatlantic link among NATO allies.
The Canadian detachment, consisting of approximately 140 personnel and six CF-188 Hornet aircraft, will carry out enhanced air policing missions under NATO command for the next three months, jointly with Romanian Air Force soldiers and F-16 Fighting Falcon and MiG-21 LanceR aircraft.
This is the fifth deployment at Mihail Kogalniceanu of the Royal Canadian Air Force, after those in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. The Canadian military also conducted a mission in Romania, at Campia Turzii, in 2014.
Joint air policing missions are said to contribute to the development of response and deterrence resources, as well as to strengthening interoperability between the Romanian and Canadian Air Forces.
The deployment of CF-188 Hornet aircraft in Romania is part of the implementation of an action plan to ensure NATO's operational capability on its eastern flank in both the northern and southern areas and demonstrates NATO's unity and determination in response to security challenges.