The Chief of the Air Staff Sir Stephen Hillier has marked the conclusion of this year’s RAF NATO deployment to conduct enhanced Air Policing. Personnel and aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth’s Number 1 (Fighter) Squadron and Number 2 (Army Cooperation) Squadron have conducted the NATO enhanced Air Policing mission in Romania since April. During the deployment, the RAF conducted eight scrambles in response to a total of 20 Russian aircraft flying towards Romanian air space. Sir Stephen said: “This deployment is an example of the UK and the RAF standing by its NATO allies following the NATO Warsaw Summit of 2014, which introduced the Alliance’s assurance measures for Eastern Allies. “This operation demonstrates the collective resolve of the Allies, and the defensive nature of their joint effort to deter Russia aggression.” During his visit to the Scottish air station, Sir Stephen had the opportunity to thank the RAF personnel who deployed this year to Romania. Chief of the Air Staff Sir Stephen Hillier thanks RAF Lossiemouth staff for their work in support of NATO Enhanced Air Policing missions. Image by: Sgt Stu Fenwick Sir Stephen said: “Earlier this year I visited the RAF detachment in Romania and saw for myself the professionalism and hard work of our deployed personnel.” The RAF detachment has also conducted exercises with Romanian, US, Bulgarian, Hungarian and Croatian military forces. These exercises have allowed air to air, air/land and air/maritime integration training to be carried out with our NATO allies in the region. Typhoons carry out patrols during the NATO Enhanced Air Policing Mission Image by: SAC Charlotte Hopkins For the RAF, this NATO Air Policing mission has now ended, but the Secretary of State for Defence has recently announced that the RAF will be deploying to Estonia and Iceland next year to conduct further NATO Air Policing missions.