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Change of Command in the 'Viespe' detachment.

In Romania
April 3, 2023
  • 8 EF-18 fighters from the 15th Wing are relieved by other aircraft from the 12th Wing, as well as the 130 components that make up the detachment.

Command handover ceremony at the 86th Borcea Air Base in Romania, where the 'Viespe' Detachment is deployed. Lieutenant Colonel Gonzalo Tortosa Méndez, from the Spanish unit Wing-15, passed the baton as Chief of the contingent to Lieutenant Colonel Diego Miguel Tobarra García, from the Wing-12. The ceremony was presided over by Brigadier General Francisco Javier Vidal Fernández, Operations Deputy of the Operations Command. He was accompanied by the representative of the Spanish Embassy in Romania, Ana Hernández Sierra and the Chiefs of the Wing-15, Colonel Jesús Andrés Margaretto and of the Wing-12, Colonel Miguel Ángel Sáez Nievas.

The ceremony was attended by the Chief of Staff of the Romanian Air Force, Lieutenant General Viorel Pana and General Catalin Miclos, Commander of the 86th Air Base in Borcea. Both previously held a meeting with the Spanish delegation, in which Lieutenant General Pana thanked the effort that Spain is making in this NATO mission of defense of the allied airspace, in this case in Romania.

The 'Viespe' Detachment began its mission under NATO command on December 1, 2022 and will remain on Romanian soil until June 2023.

At the time of the relief it has exceeded 750 flight hours in air policing missions as part of the Spanish response to NATO's request to reinforce the allied air shield on the eastern flank of the Alliance.

This air shield was put in place more than 60 years ago, and in the case of the 'Viespe' Detachment, it is carried out in conjunction with the Romanian and Italian armed forces with the mission to prevent and, if necessary, respond to any attempt of unauthorized overflight over allied countries in the area under their control. These deterrence measures have been reinforced following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which is now a year old.