On 28 August four Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4 fighter aircraft departed Romania ending the UK’s five-month leadership of NATO’s enhanced air policing mission in the country. Since April the Typhoons – from 3(F) Squadron, RAF Coningsby – had spent alternate weeks on high-readiness standby to defend NATO’s airspace over the Black Sea, augmenting the Romanian Air Force’s existing air defence capability. The Royal Canadian Air Force is now preparing to assume responsibility for the NATO mission, while two of the RAF’s Typhoons proceed to Estonia to join NATO training with the British Army.
More than 300 regular and reserve RAF personnel from 16 RAF units – supported by Royal Engineers – were involved in the mission. Typhoons launched once in response to Russian air activity over the Black Sea and flew more than 280 sorties to support NATO training with Romanian, Hungarian and Bulgarian armed forces. Towards the end of 135 EAW’s tour of duty, eight of its personnel were awarded the Romanian Air Force’s highest peacetime honour for their work in the country.