U.S. aircraft heading to Romania to enhance NATO collective defense

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  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa

U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft will arrive at Fetesti Air Base, Romania, Feb. 11, to enhance NATO’s collective defense posture and support the NATO Air Policing mission, joining Italian fighters already deployed in Romania.

F-16 Fighting Falcons, personnel and support equipment from the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, will operate from Fetesti Air Base. The additional aircraft and crews will work closely with Allies in the Black Sea region to reinforce regional security during the current tensions caused by Russia’s military build-up near Ukraine. The aircraft will complete a range of air-to-air training maneuvers with NATO Allies to strengthen interoperability and the enhance communications link required to execute multinational air operations.

"The F-16 aircraft will significantly enhance NATO’s deterrence posture in NATO’s south-east region and provide additional responsiveness for the enhanced air policing mission,” said Lt.Gen. Pascal Delerce Allied Air Command deputy commander. “Allied Air Forces are standing shoulder to shoulder to provide a robust collective defense and deliver constant vigilance across NATO airspace.”

U.S. fighter units will also support NATO’s enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission, working closely with the Italian Typhoons who have been safeguarding the skies since December 2021. 

Since 2014, the NATO Alliance has implemented assurance measures with the goal to secure regional stability and assure the allies following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. One tool in this set of measures is the concept of eAP, which demonstrates NATO's solidarity, collective resolve, and its ability to adapt and scale its defensive missions and deterrence posture in response to an evolving security situation.