The Royal Air Force (RAF) Deputy Commander Operations and the German Inspector Luftwaffe have each flown to Romania to witness the joint NATO Air Policing that detachments from each Air Force are conducting. Air Marshal Mayhew from the RAF and Lieutenant General Gerhartz from the German Luftwaffe were joined by Major General Pana, the Chief of the Romanian Air Force, together with other guests, to witness the first ever live armed training scramble carried out by a RAF Typhoon, Luftwaffe Eurofighter and The Romanian Aid Foundation Mig-21 LanceR.
“With our enhanced UK-German NATO air policing mission and our advanced concept of interoperability we have reached a new level of cooperation within the NATO Air Power community. Now, together with the RAF we are deepening our cooperation in various fields. In future, we will cooperate even closer, operating our Eurofighter fleets together wherever possible to exploit effectiveness and efficiency. An alliance is only as strong as the allies’ mutual support,” said Lieutenant-General Gerhartz German Inspector Luftwaffe.
“I am delighted to be here with our Romanian and German allies during the 60th year of NATO Quick Reaction Alert to witness this important occasion. Today re-enforces the commitment of both the RAF and the Luftwaffe to achieving a joint NATO Air Policing mission,” said Air Marshal Mayhew RAF Deputy Commander Operations.
“The next step will be the signing of a Common Declaration on UK and German Eurofighter/Typhoon interoperability, which the Air Chiefs look forward to signing when they next meet; this important document will facilitate future combined exercises and operations between our nations.”
The RAF detachment in Romania is formed by 121 Expeditionary Air Wing which is carrying out the NATO enhanced Air Policing mission. The German Luftwaffe detachment from the Tactical Air Wing 71 Richthofen is currently integrated into 121 Expeditionary Air Wing and together the personnel from the two Air Forces are carrying out the latest round of NATO Air Policing integration. During the ceremony Lieutenant General Gerhartz and Major General Pana, signed a Declaration of Intent for the development of bilateral relations in the Air Domain between Romania and Germany.
Earlier Air Marshal Mayhew and Lieutenant General Gerhartz had met, flying over Germany where they refuelled from a RAF Voyager tanker aircraft, before flying on to land at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Southern Romania. On arrival at the Romanian Air Base, the two senior officers were welcomed by Major General Pana. After attending a parade and witnessing an overflight when the aircraft conducting the scramble returned to base, Air Marshal Mayhew, Lieutenant General Gerhartz, and Major General Pana each re-iterated their nations’ commitment to closer integration as NATO allies.