Finland Deploys F/A-18 Hornets to Romania for NATO Air Policing

The Finnish Air Force has deployed seven F/A-18C Hornet aircraft to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta, Romania, marking Finland’s first air policing mission since joining NATO. This deployment, part of NATO’s Air Shielding mission, aims to enhance the integration of Finnish assets into NATO’s Air Power.

Finnish Air Force F/A-18 fighter. Photo credit Bogdan Pantilimon

During the mission, Finnish jets will conduct operational and training sorties in the Black Sea region, working alongside Royal Air Force Typhoons and Romanian F-16s. The objective is to achieve full operational readiness and deepen cooperation with NATO allies.

Lieutenant Colonel Rami Lindström, the commander of the Finnish detachment, emphasized the importance of this mission for Finland’s integration into NATO’s air defense structure. The Finnish jets will also participate in NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence exercise, Ramstein Legacy, to boost interoperability.

This deployment is part of NATO’s efforts to bolster airspace safety on its Eastern Flank, which includes the increased presence of fighter jets and ground-based air defense units. Finland’s participation in these missions is crucial as it prepares to replace its aging F/A-18 fleet with F-35s, expected to be delivered by 2026.