The 'Viespe' Detachment Full Operational Capability (FOC) certification ceremony took place today at the Borcea-Fetesti Air Base in Romania. The detachment has been under NATO command since 1 December, with tactical command delegated to the Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) Torrejón.
On a cold morning in Fetesti, Lieutenant General Fernando de la Cruz Caravaca, commander of the Torrejón CAOC, officially gave the Spanish Detachment 'Viespe' and the Italian Detachment 'Gladiator' their respective FOC certifications, which enable the fighters stationed there to participate in Enhanced Air Policing (eAP) missions.
The ceremony was attended, in addition to Lieutenant General De la Cruz, by a delegation led by the Romanian Minister of Defence. The Spanish Ambassador to Romania, the Deputy Chief of Operations of the Operations Command (MOPS), General Vidal, the head of the Air Operations Centre (AOC) of the Spanish Air Force, General Domínguez, and the head of the 15th Wing, Colonel Margaretto were also attending.
After the ceremony, Lieutenant General De la Cruz, accompanied by General Vidal, General Domínguez and Colonel Margaretto, visited the 'Viespe' DAT facilities.
The eight Spanish EF-18s, together with the Romanian F-16s based at Fetesti, will fly alongside the four Italian Eurofighters at the Mihail Kogalniceanu base. Their mission is to protect Allied airspace and maintain an appropriate level of training under NATO's eAP mission. The 'Viespe' Detachment will be deployed until 31 March 2023, reinforcing the Alliance's eastern flank with surveillance, deterrence and air defence missions.