Op BILOXI: RAF Typhoons Return to Romania
II (AC) Squadron Continues NATO Enhanced Air Policing Mission
RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft returned to Romania on Monday to continue Operation BILOXI, the codename for their enhanced Air Policing mission which began last year. The Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role fighters from Number II (Army Co-operation) Squadron left their base at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland to join 135 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) at Mihail Kogalniceanu Airbase near Constanta in southeast Romania.
The Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson MP, speaking at a gathering of NATO Defence Ministers in Brussels in November last year, announced that the RAF would return to Romania to conduct the NATO enhanced Air Policing Mission to support our NATO ally. This mission will follow on from the very successful deployment of Typhoon jets to Romania during the summer of 2017.
In charge of 135 EAW is Wing Commander Chris Ball who said,
“This is an important role for us that will build upon the success of last year’s mission to help to secure NATO airspace in the Black Sea region. These are interesting times but from the Black Sea to the Baltics, NATO’s resolve is steadfast to defend itself against any threat.”
The EAW is based at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire and consists of one hundred and fifty personnel, including II (AC) Squadron, drawn from stations across the country to form a unit capable of carrying out all the necessary support activities to maintain a fast jet operational force.
The RAF will carry out its enhanced air policing role in the region from May until September. The deployment, confirmed by the Secretary of State for Defence at the end of March 2018, is part of a long-standing continuous peacetime mission undertaken by NATO allies.
The RAF is no stranger to the NATO air policing mission, it has deployed Typhoons to the Baltic States in recent years to protect NATO airspace in the region.
The RAF Typhoons will be flying in partnership with Romanian MiG-21 LanceR aircraft.