Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire y del Espacio) Eurofighters have landed in Bulgaria deployed under NATO enhanced Air Policing. The Spanish Air Force flies alongside their Bulgarian colleagues safeguarding the Airspace along the eastern flank. Bulgarian and Spanish fighter aircraft will jointly perform Air policing tasks from 14 November to 2 December 2022. The Spanish Air Force has deployed around 150 personnel and 6 Eurofighter F-2000 Typhoon aircraft. The mission will carry out measures on ensuring the security of NATO Allies and will fulfil the tasks incorporated in the Standing Air and Missile Defence Plan of the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS).
“The Bulgarian Air Force will continue to provide its national contribution to the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System. The combined employment of Bulgarian and Spanish Air Force equipment and personnel in NATO’s Air Policing mission proves the capability of Bulgaria’s combat aviation to act in an integrated manner with the Allies’ forces; collectively, to patrol and protect the airspace of the member states of the Alliance,” said Major General Dimitar Petrov, Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force.
“Joint deployments like this are a testament to the interoperability of our Air Forces within the Alliance and is a great success for NATO,” said Major Zarza, Spanish detachment commander.
The cooperation between Allies is paramount to maintaining a safe air space for all air users. Air Policing shows that the Allies are willing to combine and share capabilities for the benefit of collective defence. The Bulgarian Air Force ensures 24/7 NATO Air Policing with their MiG-29 fighter jets; Allied detachments enhance this capability flying alongside the Bulgarian fighters. Bulgaria hosted several NATO fighter detachments at Graf Ignatievo Air Base under NATO’s enhanced Air Policing arrangements since 2014, e.g. from Italy, Spain and the United States. The Bulgarian Air Force ensures NATO Air Policing with their MiG-29 fighter jets; Allied detachments enhance this capability flying alongside the Bulgarian fighters.