RAF News

Ceremony to mark end of NATO enhanced Air Policing mission in Romania

Image shows a Typhoon and Romanian aircraft in flight.

A formal ceremony took place in Romania to mark the end of 140 Expeditionary Air Wing’s NATO enhanced Air Policing commitment in the Black Sea region.

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Image shows Squadron saluting by chairs with aircraft and flags in the background.

Personnel from the detachment, who have spent the past 4 months delivering enhanced Air Policing and enhanced Vigilance Activities as part of the NATO mission, paraded alongside members of the Romanian Air Force at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in south-eastern Romania.

Typhoons from 3 (Fighter) Squadron, alongside Romanian Air Force F-16s, conducted a flypast during the parade to mark the occasion.

Image shows aviators giving presentation with aircraft and flags in the background.

Air Officer Commanding No 11 Group, Air Vice Marshal Robinson, attended the ceremony to thank all personnel for their contribution to the NATO operation, as well as recognising the crucial support provided to 140 Expeditionary Air Wing by the Romanian Air Force and NATO partners at the base.

"The level of operational flying we’ve seen is an incredible achievement; testament to the efforts of all those on parade, and the commitment, professionalism and dedication you have shown. I thank you all and your families and loved ones at home for the support they provide to you. We’ve asked a lot from you and you have delivered.

We could not have achieved our mission without the support of our host nation and NATO partner nations so I’d like to extend my thanks to them all. Our greatest strength is our partnership and the close relationship we have is clearly evident on parade here (today) and has been throughout the RAF detachment’s time here over the last 4 months.

Air Vice Marshal Robinson
Air Officer Commanding, No 11 Group

During the parade, seven members of 140 Expeditionary Air Wing were recognised with the Romanian Air Force Emblem of Honour, presented by Flotilla General of the Air Vrajescu, on behalf of the Romanian Chief of the Air Staff. The Detachment Commander of 140 Expeditionary Air Wing, Wing Commander Holland, was awarded an Emblem of Honour of the Defence Staff on behalf of the Romanian Chief of Defence.

Image shows aviators shaking hands with aircraft in the background.

I am extremely humbled to have been awarded the Romanian Air Force Emblem of Honour for Op BILOXI 22. The success of the deployment would not have been possible without the outstanding contribution made by all deployed personnel, along with the exceptional support received by our Romanian and NATO partners in country. I am extremely proud to have served as the Chief of Staff to a truly amazing team of individuals from across the RAF, who selflessly rose to every challenge that the last few months in Eastern Europe have presented.

Squadron Leader Handley
140 Expeditionary Air Wing Chief of Staff

Image shows aviators shaking hands with aircraft in the background.

Since the mission commenced in April 2022, 140 140 Expeditionary Air Wing has flown over 325 sorties, totalling 850 hours of flight time: more than 3 times that of any previous UK enhanced Air Policing mission in Romania in support of NATO. The peak of activity in early May saw Typhoons from 3(F) Squadron scramble 34 times and deliver 19 Close Air Support missions totalling over 350 hours of flying in a 3-week period.

Image shows RAF aviators and Romanian personnel on parade.

140 140 Expeditionary Air Wing will soon hand over the enhanced Air Policing responsibility to the Royal Canadian Air Force before returning to the UK.

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