The last day of 2017, marked the completion of Canada’s Air Task Force (ATF) four-month mission in Romania in support of Operation REASSURANCE and Block 45 of NATO enhanced Air Policing (eAP).

Since September 2017, about 135 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel, mainly from 2 Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagotville, and 4 Wing, Cold Lake, along with four CF-18 Hornet fighter jets supported the 45th rotation of NATO eAP.

During the mission, members of the ATF-Romania visited Romanian Armed Forces bases, Combat Readiness Centre, the newly renovated 86th Air Base with its F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, a training academy for new aircrew, and several headquarters according to the release.

In the latter part of September, a few members of the ATF along with two CF-18 Hornets visited Slovenia to share best practices.

The ATF also conducted other training with its Romanian hosts including medical support, flight safety, aircraft maintenance, command and control, and military policing. The ATF-Romania also participated in other activities to support local communities, including delivering donations to an orphanage.

Corporal Sean Adel, Corporal Matt Seguin and Master Corporal Chad Peacey transport the aircraft engine to the CF-188 Hornet aircraft for installation, at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Constanta, Romania during Operation REASSURANCE, September 23, 2017. Photo: Sergeant Daren Kraus

The CF-18 Hornet crews participated in many training sessions with the Romanian Air Force MiG-21s, F-16s and Puma helicopters and along with Portuguese F-16s, US Army Blackhawk helicopters and NATO airborne warning and control systems (AWACs). Their training also included operating with French and Romanian vessels in the Black Sea.

“This mission has been an outstanding opportunity and a point of pride for the entire Air Task Force,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Hickey, Commander Air Task Force-Romania. “It has been an honour to contribute to the NATO Alliance in such a meaningful way while working alongside our Romanian counterparts as we build even stronger ties.”

The ATF-Romania members and CF-18s will return to Canada shortly.

Source: National Defence