NATO prepares a deployment Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircrafts to Bucharest, Romania. The aircraft are scheduled to arrive on January 17, 2023 and are going to support the Alliance’s reinforced presence in the region and monitor Russian military activity. The NATO AWACS aircrafts can detect aircraft hundreds of kilometres away, making them a key capability for NATO’s deterrence and defence posture. In response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, NATO has increased its air presence in eastern Europe with additional fighters, surveillance aircraft, and tankers.
“As Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine continues to threaten peace and security in Europe, there must be no doubt about NATO’s resolve to protect and defend every inch of Allied territory. Our AWACS can detect aircraft hundreds of kilometres away, making them a key capability for NATO’s deterrence and defence posture. I thank Romania for hosting the aircraft, which makes an important contribution to our early warning,” said NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu.
Since February 2022, NATO AWACS have conducted regular patrols over eastern Europe and the Baltic Sea region to track Russian warplanes near NATO borders. The NATO AWACS will start reconnaissance flights, solely over Alliance territory, in the coming days. The mission is scheduled to last several weeks. The aircraft belong to a fleet of 14 NATO surveillance aircraft usually based in Geilenkirchen, Germany. Around 180 military personnel will deploy the Romanian Air Force base at Otopeni near Bucharest in support of the aircraft.
The NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control Force (NAEW&CF) is located on NATO Airbase Geilenkirchen. NAEW&CF has two units with operational capability: The NATO E-3A Component in Geilenkirchen, Germany, with 14 E-3A aircraft, and the E-3D Component of the Royal Air Force (RAF) in Waddington, UK, with six E-3D aircraft crewed solely by RAF personnel. The NAEW&CF is commanded on a rotational basis by either a US Air Force or a German Air Force major general. The deputy commander is an RAF Air Commodore. The Force Command reports directly to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe.