Four Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CF-18 Hornets and over 130 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel will participate in NATO Air Policing in Romania from September to December 2017.

NATO Air Policing is part of Operation REASSURANCE, which since 2014, the CAF has participated in to support NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Europe. These measures demonstrate the Allies intent to support the stability and security of NATO’s territory and populations.

“The Canadian Armed Forces is committed to the principle of collective defence of the Alliance, which is at the very heart of NATO’s founding treaty,” said Lieutenant-General Steve Bowes, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command. “Our military personnel are well-trained and committed to contribute to NATO enhanced Air Policing that ensures the integrity of Allies’ airspace.”

Royal Canadian Air Force CF-188 Hornet aircraft execute a flypast, as they depart for their deployment as part of OPERATION REASSURANCE, 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta on August 16, 2017. Photo: Cpl Justin Roy, 4 Wing.

The CAF contingent is made up of members of the 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron of 4 Wing Cold Lake, 2 Air Expeditionary Wing and 17 Wing Winnipeg.

In their first mission of Op REASSURANCE, held from April to August 2014, the CAF deployed an Air Task Force to the Romanian Air Force 71st Air Base in Campia Turzii. During that initial mission, “the ATF was engaged in multinational training opportunities that developed interoperability in the areas of air defence, air superiority, and tactical support missions.”

The new Air Task Force that is being deployed to Romania will augment the Romanian Air Force’s capability to preserve the integrity of its airspace.

“An Air Task Force is an agile and flexible organization that is always ready to employ air power and provide support wherever and whenever Canada requires,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Hickey, Commander, Air Task Force Romania. “Our Air Task Force in Romania is proud to participate in the cooperative defence activities that support NATO’s enhanced Air Policing.”

Source: National Defence