RAMSTEIN, Germany – NATO fighter jets stationed around the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea have mobilized several times over the past four days to track and intercept Russian aircraft near Alliance airspace. This routine collective response demonstrates NATO’s readiness, vigilance and responsiveness.
NATO radars have tracked several unidentified aircraft over the Baltic and Black seas since 26 April. In response, NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centers (CAOC) in Uedem, Germany and Torrejón, Spain launched fighter jets in their respective regions to intercept and identify approaching aircraft.
Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) fighter jets from Poland, Denmark, France and Spain have been in the air at different times in the Baltic Sea region since Tuesday to protect Allied airspace. In the Black Sea region, QRA aircraft from Romania and the United Kingdom were sent to investigate unknown contacts approaching Allied airspace.
“Deployed allies from northern to southern Europe remain unified in support of NATO’s air policing mission,” said Major General Jörg Lebert, chief of staff at Allied Air Command. “The rapid response of the two NATO CAOCs demonstrates the readiness and ability of NATO forces to protect the Allied skies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.”
Russian military aircraft generally do not transmit a transponder code indicating their position and altitude, do not have a flight plan, and do not communicate with air traffic controllers, posing a potential risk to civil aircraft. Intercepted Russian aircraft never entered Alliance airspace and intercepts were carried out safely and routinely.
NATO fighters are on duty 24 hours a day, ready to spring into action in the event of suspicious or unannounced flights near our Allies’ airspace. Air policing is an important way in which NATO provides security for its members.
SOURCE: Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office