RAF Typhoons on NATO Quick Reaction Alert based in Romania have been launched in response to Russian aircraft flying into NATO airspace over the Black Sea.
Operating from the Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta on the Black Sea coast, RAF Typhoons on the NATO Enhanced Air Policing mission scrambled on 5th August as NATO radars detected Russian aircraft in international airspace over the southern Black Sea. The aircraft were heading towards Romanian airspace.
Flight Lieutenant Charlie, one of the RAF Pilots from IX (Bomber) Squadron, operating as part of 121 Expeditionary Air Wing, who was on Quick Reaction Alert duty and responded to the scramble.
"When the Russian aircraft entered the Romanian Flight Information Region, we were scrambled to conduct a Combat Air Patrol in the area. As the suspect aircraft turned into Romanian airspace we were then instructed to visually identify the track. As we approached our Combat Air Patrol area, the Russian aircraft turned, headed away from us and left the FIR, at which point we resumed our air patrolling mission and practiced some air combat manoeuvres before returning to base."
Flight Lieutenant Charlie
IX (Bomber) Squadron Pilot, 121 Expeditionary Air Wing
Operation BILOXI is the UK contribution to the NATO enhanced Air Policing mission in the region, which in turn is part of the NATO Assurance Measures first authorised in 2014 following the NATO Summit of that year. With this enhanced capability, NATO has demonstrated its collective resolve of deterrence and defence, specifically for the NATO Allies on the eastern flank of the Alliance.
"This is our eighth scramble since assuming our NATO enhanced Air Policing mission at the start of May. Every time the call to scramble has been given personnel across the Wing have responded with the utmost professionalism to help secure NATO airspace in the Black Sea region."
Wing Commander Lamping
Commanding Officer 121 Expeditionary Air Wing