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Two Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CF-188 Hornet fighter jets from Operation Reassurance’s Air Task Force Romania intercepted a Russian SU-27 Flanker operating near Romanian airspace over the Black Sea on Sept. 23, 2020.
The CF-188s were scrambled by NATO’s southern Combined Air Operations Centre at Torrejon, Spain after the Russian aircraft was detected by the Romanian Air Force’s Control and Reporting Centre. The Canadian fighter pilots carefully monitored the Russian aircraft until it left the Romanian flight information region.
This intercept was the first for the Air Task Force which started its mission earlier this month following a NATO certification ceremony on Sept. 3, 2020.
“On Sept. 23, our fighter pilots and support staff from Air Task Force Romania showed that they are capable of delivering exactly the type of support that NATO has asked for on this mission. In this case, our Air Task Force delivered on both assurance and deterrence missions in the same afternoon, intercepting a Russian SU-27 Flanker near Romanian airspace as well as training with our allies on a NATO exercise. This is a prime example of our Canadian aviators’ agility in delivering on multiple missions no matter the circumstance,” said MGen Eric Kenny, Joint Forces Air component commander.
“We achieved exactly what Canadian pilots from Air Task Force Romania are expected to do, which is to ensure the integrity of the airspace of our NATO Ally, Romania. Taxiing in after the intercept, the whole Air Task Force was energized. This is what we are here for and morale is high when we get to use our skills for such an important mission as enhanced Air Policing. I am immensely proud of my team whose hard work made conducting simultaneous assurance and deterrence missions for NATO possible, especially so early in our deployment,” added LCol David McLeod, commander of Air Task Force – Romania.