The approximately 135 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel, and five CF-18 Hornets that comprise Canada’s Air Task Force (ATF)- Romania made their way home this week after completing their mission with NATO’s enhanced Air Policing in Romania. The military personnel arrived home on Thursday, January 9, 2019.
ATF-Romania is the air component of Operation REASSURANCE, Canada’s contribution to NATO’s assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.
Lieutenant-General Michael Rouleau, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command, stated in a press release, “The Canadian Armed Forces has been actively participating alongside our NATO Allies in measures to maintain security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe. As a member of NATO, Canada contributes in keeping the Alliance’s airspace safe and secure, and once again fulfilled its commitment to the NATO Air Policing mission through the hard work of Air Task Force Romania members.”
Now that ATF-Romania has completed its mission, Military members, mainly from 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron, supported by personnel largely from 2 Air Expeditionary Wing and 3 Wing Bagotville, returned home.
The Commander of Air Task Force-Romania, Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Woods, comments, “The region around the Black Sea is very active for Air Defence, and our Air Task Force was proud to assist the Romanian Air Force and NATO with Air Policing in this busy region. We were able to share some best practices with our Romanian Allies and to train for potential future operations together.”
In addition to their main mission, the Air Task Force conducted regular training with their Romanian counterparts, including flight operations, medical support, flight safety, aircraft maintenance, command and control, and military policing.
This is Canada’s third ATF deployment to Romania on Operation REASSURANCE. The ATF was first deployed in 2014 to the Romanian Air Force 71st Air Base, located in Campia Turzii, and the second deployment was in 2017 to Constanta.
NATO’s enhanced Air Policing is a peacetime collective defence mission, which safeguards the integrity of the Alliance’s airspace. The CAF has deployed an ATF on previous occasions, including to Lithuania as part of NATO Baltic Air Policing in 2014, and too Iceland as part of Iceland Air Policing in 2017.
Major-General Christian Drouin, Commander 1 Canadian Air Division, comments that “Enabling Canada’s commitment to NATO is an important part of our mandate to deliver air power to all CAF missions around the world. 1 Canadian Air Division has been proud to support this mission over the past several months. I am incredibly proud of what the women and men of Air Task Force Romania have achieved.”
Canada is committed to the collective defence of the Alliance, which is at the heart of NATO’s founding treaty. The ATF-Romania mission demonstrates that Canada takes seriously its responsibility to contribute to efforts to deter aggression by potential adversaries in all domains.