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RAF Typhoons Return to Romania to Resume NATO Black Sea Mission

Photo: Wg Cdr Chris Ball (left) greeting Wg Cdr Jim Lee (OC II (AC) Sqn)

 

Wg Cdr Chris Ball waiting on the arrival of Wg Cdr Jim Lee (OC II(AC) Sqn) at Mihail Kogalniceanu Airbase near Constanta in southeast Romania. Photographs by SAC Charlotte Hopkins RAF

RAF Eurofighter Typhoon fighters returned to Romania on April 23 to continue their enhanced air policing mission begun last year. The Typhoon multi-role fighters from Number II (Army Co-operation) Squadron left their base at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland on Monday to join 135 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) at Mihail Kogalniceanu Airbase near Constanta in southeast Romania.

Wg Cdr Chris Ball, 135 EAW OC, 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 in North Yorkshire and consists of 150 personnel, including II (AC) Sqn, 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 enhanced air policing role in the region from May until September. The deployment, confirmed by the Secretary of State for Defence at the end of March 2018, is part of a long-standing continuous peacetime mission undertaken by NATO allies.

The RAF is no stranger to the NATO air policing mission, it has deployed Typhoons to the Baltic States in recent years to protect NATO airspace in the region. Once again, the RAF will be flying in partnership with Romanian MiG-21 LanceR aircraft.

No.II(AC) Sqn mechanics servicing the Typhoons after their arrival at MK Airbase.

Wg Cdr Chris Ball (left) greeting Wg Cdr Jim Lee (OC II(AC) Sqn) at Mihail Kogalniceanu.

No.II(AC) SQN typhoons perform a four ship flypast on their arrival at Mihail Kogalniceanu in Romania.

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