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Relief of personnel deployed in 'Tigru' Detachment

In Schitu, Romania
February 29, 2024
  • The Spanish contingent is deployed in NATO's 'Enhanced Air Policing' operation to reinforce Allied Presence on the eastern flank of Europe.

The handover ceremony between the fourth and fifth contingents of the 'Tigru' air tactical detachment in NATO's Operation Enhanced Air Operation (eAO) was held under the operational command of the Operations Command. The ceremony was presided over by Brigadier General Pedro Enrique Belmonte Gimenez of the Combat Air Command (MACOM) and was also attended by the Spanish Ambassador to Romania, Jose Antonio Hernandez Perez-Solorzano and Colonel Ignacio Lanzat Lacour, as representative of the Operations Command. The Romanian Air Force was represented by Colonel Boraciu Relu, head of the 76th ISR Brigade.

During the ceremony, the outgoing Force Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Fernando Ruiz Huerta, handed over the command of the 'Tigru' unit to Lieutenant Colonel Francisco Javier Garcia Ortiz, thus completing the mission of the fourth contingent. After four months of operation, from October 2023 to February 2024, the operational capability of the AN/TPS-43M radar remains high, having reached more than 10,000 operating hours.

During his speech, Brigadier General Belmonte praised the work of the outgoing contingent and encouraged the incoming contingent to continue fulfilling the objectives of the mission in Romania. At the end of the ceremony, four members of the outgoing contingent were presented with decorations from the Romanian Air Force.

Sixteen months after its creation, the detachment continues its ongoing commitment to air defence, playing a key role in ensuring the high operational readiness of the weapon system and the effective integration of radar data into the NATO Air Defence System through the Balotesti Control and Reporting Centre in Bucharest.

Spain's commitment to the operation has been total since the beginning of the 'Tigru' detachment, thanks to the dedication and commitment of the 39 military personnel who make up the detachment. It is made up of personnel from the Mobile Air Control Group (GRUMOCA) and the Second Air Support Squadron (SEADA), as well as other units from the Air and Space Forces.