Canada’s Air Task Force completes mission in Romania

News Article / January 6, 2020

National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Canada’s Air Task Force (ATF)-Romania has completed its four-month NATO enhanced Air Policing mission in Romania. ATF-Romania is the air component of Operation Reassurance, Canada’s contribution to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.

“NATO is the most successful military and political alliance in the world,” said Minister of National Defence Harjit Singh Sajjan. “Canada’s contribution to Air Task Force-Romania shows our ongoing support to NATO, one of our most important multilateral relationships. Thank you to all who served for your contribution. Your work shows our friends and allies that Canada will always stand shoulder to shoulder with them.”

Since 2014, Operation Reassurance has been key to demonstrating Canada’s commitment to our NATO allies. As part of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing mission, the operation reinforces NATO’s collective defence, demonstrating the Alliance’s combined strength and solidarity to any potential airspace aggressor.

“Operation Reassurance includes Canadian Armed Forces contribution to NATO’s Air Policing mission and demonstrates Canada’s willingness and ability to react to international crises and work side by side with our NATO Allies,” said Lieutenant-General Michael Rouleau, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command. “Over the past four months, Canadian Armed Forces personnel, as part of Air Task Force-Romania, again demonstrated the highest levels of professionalism and skill NATO has come to expect from Canada. Congratulations of a job well done.”

ATF-Romania was composed of approximately 135 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel and five CF-188 Hornets. The members of ATF-Romania were mainly from 401 Tactical Fighter Squadron, supported by personnel from all over Canada, primarily from 2 Air Expeditionary Wing, 3 Wing Bagotville, and 19 Wing Comox. Following completion of its mission, ATF-Romania’s CF-188 Hornets and its personnel will return to Canada in January 2020.

In addition to the enhanced Air Policing mission, the ATF conducted regular training with their Romanian counterparts, including flight operations, emergency response, flight safety, aircraft maintenance, command and control, and military policing. ATF-Romania also participated in several multinational joint exercises such as Exercise Silver Arrow in Latvia, Exercise Blue Bridge 19 and Exercise Ramstein Dust.

“It has been a tremendous honour for the members of Air Task Force-Romania 2019 to work alongside our Romanian and regional NATO Allies,” Commander Air Task Force-Romania Lieutenant-Colonel Forrest Rock said. “Whether fulfilling our NATO enhanced Air Policing mandate or participating in the multitude of multinational joint training opportunities with our Romanian MiG-21 and F-16 counterparts, the Romanian, French, and US Navy, the Bulgarian Air Force, or Task Force Latvia, our efforts have clearly demonstrated Canada’s reliability and commitment to NATO collective defence from both a deterrence and assurance perspective. 

“The members of this Task Force have once again demonstrated the value and capabilities of our Canadian Armed Forces,” he said, “and further solidified Canada’s reputation as a reliable defence partner.”

This is Canada’s fourth ATF deployment to Romania on Operation Reassurance. The ATF first deployed from April to August 2014 to the Romanian Air Force 71st Air Base in Campia Turzii, followed by deployments to Constanta in both 2017 and 2018 from September to December.

NATO’s enhanced Air Policing is a peacetime collective defence mission, which safeguards the integrity of the Alliance’s airspace. It is part of NATO assurance and deterrence measures introduced in 2014 after Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea.

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