NATO air forces conduct air defense exercises over Romania

France, Italy, Romania, Spain, Turkey, and the US operated in Romanian airspace on January 26, performing aerial maneuvers against simulated opposing air defense systems, further improving combined Allied capabilities.

The Allied Air Command oversaw a dynamic training operation involving the French MAMBA system, supported by Romanian F-16s and American F-15s and Italian Eurofighters, Spanish F-18s, and Turkish F-16s. These two teams simulated both air-to-air and air-to-ground exercises.

A Turkish refueling aircraft extended the fighter aircraft’s flight times and training opportunities. The Combined Air Operations Center in Torrejón and the Romanian Control and Reporting Center provided air command and control for the mission.

“Simulated training events like this are critical to honing our skills in the air as an Alliance,” said Brigadier General Christoph Pliet, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operation, Allied Air Command.

“Having our Air Forces train against each other allows us to hone our forces to operate against potential adversary integrated air defense systems to allow friendly forces freedom of maneuver essential for operations under NATO’s collective defense.”

The training event complies with international rules and regulations and is not a response to current geopolitical circumstances; rather, it is an integral part of Alliance surveillance actions designed to protect the eastern flank and secure NATO allies in the region.

Complex training events such as integrated air defense highlight NATO’s ability to concentrate Allied fires and effects in the same place and simultaneously as a cohesive Alliance,” added Pliet.

He said, “We performed these training missions to prepare our air forces to operate in a hostile environment.”

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