The Royal Air Force has returned to Romania as part of the NATO Enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission. The latest detachment of four Typhoon FGR4 fighters is provided by No II (Army Cooperation) Squadron from RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland.
The jets touched down in Romania on April 23 to continue their eAP mission begun last year. Once in Eastern Europe, the Typhoons come under the command of 135 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) and operate from Mihail Kogălniceanu air base near Constanta in the southeast of the country.
Wg Cdr Chris Ball, who leads 135 EAW, said: “This is an important role for us that will build upon the success of last year’s mission to help to secure NATO airspace in the Black Sea region. These are interesting times but from the Black Sea to the Baltics, NATO’s resolve is steadfast to defend itself against any threat.”
The EAW is based at RAF Leeming, North Yorkshire and consists of 150 personnel, including No II (AC) Squadron, drawn from stations across the country to form a unit capable of carrying out all the necessary support activities to maintain a fast jet operational force.
The RAF will carry out its eAP role in the region from May until September. The deployment was confirmed by the Secretary of State for Defence at the end of March.
In the eAP mission, NATO member air forces provide assistance to the Romanian Air Force’s own fleet of MiG -21 LanceR and F-16 fighters. The RAF Typhoons will work alongside the Romanian fighters, as they did last year.
No II (AC) Squadron previously conducted quick reaction alert missions from Estonia as part of Baltic Air Policing.