August 4, 2022 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
As part of Canada’s support to NATO and European security, Air Task Force Romania (ATF-R) assumed NATO enhanced Air Policing duties today at a ceremony at Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base, alongside the Romanian Air Force, and other allies.
A total of eight CF-18s have deployed to Romania. While the ATF conducts 24/7 Air Policing missions using a six aircraft rotation until December 2, 2022, two additional aircraft have been temporarily deployed for concurrent NATO training activities.
This is the seventh time that Canada has deployed an ATF to Romania as part of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing mission, which has augmented and supported Baltic and Eastern European countries’ own forces on a continual basis since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Under NATO command and control, the ATF conducts surveillance of Romanian and allied airspace, trains with their NATO counterparts, and if required, intercepts, identifies and/or escorts aircraft that enter the Romanian Air Defence Identification Zone.
“Ever since Russia’s initial invasion of Ukraine in 2014, Canada has been steadfast in demonstrating our commitment to NATO’s collective defence across Europe. Air surveillance and policing is a critical part of maintaining a nation’s security in the face of aggressive nations that continuously seek to test the defences of their neighbours, something Canada has its own experience with in the Arctic. Our mission in Romania allows us to contribute to NATO’s collective defence, and allows us to deliver capabilities that are a tangible symbol of Canada’s resolve to NATO’s collective defence.”
The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence
“This is our seventh time in Romania, meaning the bonds between our two forces run deep. While every ATF mission since 2014 has been an enriching experience, this year is understandably different in that the threat is even more palpable. We are proud to work with and stand by our Romanian counterparts who value our contribution to their Air Policing activities at a time of growing tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Through combined exercises and operations like this, our bonds become stronger, especially in the face of those who would seek to divide us.”
Major-General Iain Huddleston, Commander 1 Canadian Air Division Joint Force Air Component
- Although the majority of aircraft and personnel for this mission are drawn from 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron based out of 3 Wing Bagotville, QC, nearly every Wing across Canada is represented in the Task Force.
- The ATF is comprised of approximately 170 personnel, including air and ground crews, as well as operations and logistical support personnel.
- Operation REASSURANCE is Canada’s contribution to NATO assurance and deterrence measures, which demonstrates Canada’s ability and willingness to react rapidly to international crises and to work side by side with its NATO Allies to reinforce the alliance’s collective security. Air Task Force – Romania is the Air component of the mission.