Italian Eurofighters deployed to Poland to reinforce NATO Air Policing

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One of four Eurofighter F-2000s from the Italian Air Force has arrived at Malbork Air Base for the enhanced Air Policing mission. (Photo: Moment.Photo via General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces)

A month after completing the enhanced Air Policing mission in Romania, the Italian Air Force is now supporting the 60th rotation of the NATO Air Policing mission in the Baltic region.

Four F-2000A jets from Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force) (as single-seat Eurofighter Typhoons are referred to in Italy) were deployed to 22nd Tactical Air Base in Malbork, Poland, to reinforce the reinforced air police of NATO in the Baltic region. It is the first time that Italian jets have deployed there for a NATO mission and the eighth time that they have carried out air policing missions in the region.

The Italian Air Force has just completed NATO’s eAPA-S (Enhanced Air Policing Area South) mission in Romania. Originally supposed to last only four months, the mission lasted seven months and ended on July 1, 2022. This was due to NATO’s response to Russian actions in Ukraine, which also led to the Italian detachment doubling the number of aircraft deployed, bringing the total to eight Typhoons.

“During these seven months, our team and the Italian Eurofighters have achieved approximately 1,400 flight hours, generating more than seven hundred sorties, more than half of which have been carried out as part of eVA Combat Air Patrol missions, and approximately 50 alert jamming,” said Colonel Losengo, commander of Task Force Air – Romania (TFA-R) “Black Storm,” about achievements in support of the Alliance.

Now, on July 28, four F-2000As have arrived in Poland to establish the new Air Task Force “White Eagle” in support of the 60th Rotation of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission, which begins August 1. The Italian detachment will declare full operational capability that day and begin operating immediately and provide a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) capability to protect NATO’s northeast flank. The mission will last until November 30, 2022.

Each ItAF Typhoon Wing has sent a jet to Poland for this detachment and 4° Stormo (Wing) will lead the TFA. The Italian jets will augment the effort of the Hungarian Gripens, who are leading this rotation from Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, and the German Eurofighters which are about to deploy to Ämari Air Base, Estonia.

An Italian Eurofighter on the flight line at Malbork Air Base. (Photo: Polish Ministry of Defence)

“The Baltic and enhanced Air Policing missions continue to demonstrate the collective nature of NATO as a defensive Alliance,” said Lieutenant General Pascal Delerce, Deputy Commander of Allied Air Command. . “As Hungary, Germany and Italy will provide the 60th rotation of air policing to the region, Allies have quickly provided even more assets contributing to our new air protection mission which will enable an increase long-term air and missile defense posture along the flank is in response to changes in the security situation,” he added.

Let’s not forget the arrival of the US Air Force’s F-22 Raptors, which are deploying to the 32nd Tactical Air Base in Łask, Poland, precisely to support NATO’s Air Shielding mission. A dozen planes arrived at RAF Lakenheath, UK, on ​​July 26 and 27, from where they will travel to Poland. US F-35As currently deployed to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany are also participating in the Air Shielding mission.

The mission appears both as a complementary mission and a reinforcement of the efforts already put in place with the various Air Police missions. As mentioned by Allied Air Command, “The NATO Air Defense Mission integrates Allied air defense and ground air and missile defense units into the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defense System under NATO command and control. It will provide a nearly seamless shield from the Baltic to the Black Sea, ensuring that NATO Allies are better able to safeguard and protect Alliance territory, populations and forces from air and missile threat. .

Stefano D’Urso is a freelance journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in industrial engineering, he is also studying for a master’s degree in aerospace engineering. Electronic warfare, vagrant ammunition and OSINT techniques applied to the world of military operations and current conflicts are among his areas of expertise.



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