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'Viespe' detachment completes Enhanced Air Policing mission on NATO's eastern flank

Fetesti, Romania
June 8, 2023
  • After six months deployed in Romania, and more than 1200 flying hours, the Spanish contingent ends its mission

The closing ceremony of the 'Viespe' Detachment has been held, bringing to an end the deployment of Spanish forces in Block 62 of the Enhanced Air Policing mission. The ceremony was presided over by General Carlos Prada Larrea, Deputy to Operations of the Operations Command. He was accompanied by the Spanish Ambassador to Romania, Jose Antonio Hernandez Perez-Solorzano, General Jeronimo Dominguez Barbero, Head of the Air Operations Centre, and Colonel Miguel Angel Saez Nievas, Head of Wing 12.

The ceremony was attended by the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Romanian Air Force, General Leonard-Gabriel Baraboi and Brigadier General Catalin Miclos, Commander of Air Base 86 in Borcea. Prior to the ceremony, a bilateral meeting was held between the Spanish and Romanian delegations, during which General Baraboi thanked Spain for its efforts in the framework of NATO's Permanent Air and Missile Defence Mission, monitoring the skies over Romania.

The 'Viespe' Detachment began its mission under NATO command on 1 December 2022, with 8 F-18s from the 15th Wing and 130 military personnel. Subsequently, on 1 April 2023, the command and resources were replaced, with 7 F-18s from the 12th Wing and 133 military personnel. During this time, more than 1,200 flight hours have been flown in air police missions as part of Spain's firm commitment with our allies and to contribute to the Enhanced Air Police mission on the Eastern flank of the Alliance.

This air shield, launched in 2014 following Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula, is carried out together with the other NATO members. In the case of the 'Viespe' Detachment, it has been carried out together with the Romanian, Italian and French armed forces to guarantee the integrity, security and protection of the Eastern airspace.