Since 1 DEC 2022, 130 men and women of the Spanish Armed Forces and 8 EF-18 (C-15M) from the 15th Wing (Zaragoza Air Base) are deployed at the Fetesti Air Base in Romania, forming the 'Viespe' Air Tactical Detachment. Their mission is to form the air shield provided by NATO on the eastern flank of the alliance, patrolling the skies of Romania as Enhanced Air Policing (eAP).
Currently, halfway through its mission and with more than 330 flight hours, 17 of its components have been replaced, including pilots, maintenance, communications and health service personnel. This ensures permanence in the mission, incorporating the lessons learned and relying on the renewed strength of the new arrivals.
Spain is providing this detachment in response to NATO's request to keep and increase the allies' contribution to provide an Air Shield in that area.
NATO´s Air Shielding and Enhanced Air Policing
The 'Air Shielding' mission is part of the Alliance's collective effort in policing the airspace of its members, in this case those on the Eastern flank. This mission is carried out under NATO's mandate in the framework of the allied collective defence.
'Enhanced Air Policing' is part of the measures introduced by NATO in 2014 to increase the national air policing capabilities of allied countries and deter any adversary posing a potential threat to a NATO member state.
NATO Air Policing has been an essential part of Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD).