Canada supports NATO in promoting security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe

16 May 2014

NATO’s core task is to protect and defend the Allies. The Alliance has taken a series of measures to reassure its members especially in Central and Eastern Europe and to demonstrate unity, resolve and commitment to collective defence.

In the air domain, NATO has increased its air activity in Central and Eastern Europe including flying more air policing sorties over the Baltic region as well as increased training activity over Poland and AWACS surveillance flights over Poland and Romania.

In a special move that reflects the country’s commitment to NATO reassurance of Allies, Canada deployed an Air Task Force of six CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft to Campia Turzii, Romania, where they arrived on 7 May 2014. The CF-18 fighters are to conduct multinational training exercises as part of Canada’s commitment to its NATO Allies. The Canadian Air Task Force have begun to work and train with their Romanian counterparts.
 

Two Canadian CF-18 Hornet. Photo courtesy of Canadian Air Task Force by Master Corporal Roy MacLellan, 8 Wing Imaging

The six CF-18 fighters from 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron, based at 3 Wing Bagotville in the Province of Quebec, may later join NATO’s air policing mission in Eastern Europe. These fighter aircraft and aircrew are trained to perform air defence, air superiority, training, aerospace testing and evaluation, and tactical support missions.

The Air Task Force is composed of some 200 men and women; it is an integrated force with all the necessary operations and support functions to provide units of agile, task-tailored, scalable, readily deployable, expeditionary aerospace power.

The CF-18 Hornet is Canada’s multipurpose fighter jet, and its pilots are well trained to carry their flying missions. The participation of CAF personnel in NATO exercises and training activities provides Canada with an excellent opportunity to develop their skills and enhances their ability to operate with our NATO Allies while building cohesion within the Alliance.
Lieutenant-Colonel Darcy "Plug" Molstad, Canadian Air Task Force Commander and F-18 pilot, gives a "thumbs up" to ground crew during start up of his fighter jet, on the Romanian Air Force's airfield in Câmpia Turzii, Romania, getting ready to take-off for a local familiarization flight of the region, during NATO reassurance measures on May 13, 2014. Photo: MCpl Patrick Blanchard, Canadian Forces Combat Camera
 
The CAF’s response in support of NATO’s reassurance measures promotes security in Central and Eastern Europe. It demonstrates readiness, professionalism and commitment to the collective defence of NATO Allies.

The six CF-18 fighters, Canada deployed are one measure of Allies in demonstrating NATO resolve and solidarity. NATO’s air policing mission in the Baltic region is currently led by four Polish MiG-29 fighters and supported by four United Kingdom Typhoon fighters – both assets deployed to Siauliai, Lithuania – four Danish F-16 fighters deployed to Ämari, Estonia, and four French Rafale fighters, currently deployed to Malbork, Poland. In addition the Alliance operates AWACS platforms from France and the United Kingdom as well as one NATO AWACS aircraft over Poland and Romania. Several allies operate aircraft flying in support of NATO measures or bilateral training.

Story by HQ AIRCOM Public Affairs based on information by the Canadian Air Force

More pictures of the Canadian Air Task Force at Campia Turzii, Romania, can be found at http://www.forcesimages.ca/default.aspx?aid=3202