RAMSTEIN, Germany – On August 11, NATO’s air surveillance and control system detected sustained air activity in international airspace over the Black Sea and concerted action of Allied fighters from Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria demonstrating readiness and vigilance safeguarding Allied skies in the region.
In a concerted effort fighter jets from Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria (from left to right) were launched by NATO|s Combined Air Operations Centre at Torrejón, Spain, to respond to the unidentified aircraft and to remain on station to be able to act quickly if needed. Archive photos courtesy Turkish, Romanian and Bulgarian Air Forces.
Allied radars detected unidentified tracks flying from Crimea in the western parts of the Black Sea; when the tracks headed towards NATO territory, the Combined Air Operations Centre at Torrejón Spain alerted and launched Allied fighter aircraft from Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria to respond to the tracks which were identified as a Russian military aircraft. Besides visual identification the Allied fighter aircraft established so-called Combat Air Patrol patterns; these holding patterns allowing them to loiter and respond quickly if needed. Each time, the Allied fighters returned to their respective bases when the event was concluded.
These routine measures were conducted in a coordinated and professional manner, safeguarding the airspace of NATO Allies in the South East. They underline the capabilities and interoperability of Allies and NATO’s ability to conduct concerted defensive measures. These routine Air Policing events brought together Allied surveillance and control systems, Air Command and Control units and fighter aircraft demonstrating the Alliance is vigilant and responsive 24/7, ready to conduct coherent deterrence and defence across all is European Allies.