Finland Sending Air Forces to Romania to Join NATO Air Police Mission

The Finnish government has just announced it is deploying eight F/A-18 aircraft and 100 air force members to Romania this Summer to join the NATO Air Police missions on the Eastern Flank of the alliance, this will be Finland’s first time deploying such a large force to NATO’s flank and signals a much deeper commitment from Helsinki which is already bordering Russia. This announcement, coupled with Sweden’s announcement that it will reach 2.6% GDP spending is indicative of the high payoff the alliance achieved by admitting the Nordic States.

The Announcement

Finnish Major General Juha-Pekka Keranen made this statement:

“Finnish F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets will contribute to the mission from 3 June to 31 July 2024. Quick-reaction alert (QRA) duty and patrol flights will be carried out by armed fighter jets equipped with air-to-air missiles, cannons and countermeasures systems. The Finnish F/A-18 Hornets will be QRA duty on alternate weeks with the Royal Air Force’s Typhoon jets.

The Finnish detachment deploying to Romania will consist of a maximum of eight F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets and 100 airmen. The personnel will be rotated during the summer, in order to provide practical experience in cooperation with Allies to as many airmen as possible.

The increased presence of air defence assets in the Black Sea region is part of NATO’s basic idea that all Allies prepare to support each other in maintaining collective defence and deterrence. By participating in the Air Shielding mission for the first time, we are doing our part to strengthen NATO’s cohesion and to enhance interoperability with Allies.”

Nearly 10% of the Finnish Air Force Fighters To Go

This Summer’s contingent of the NATO Air Police mission in Romania will be co-led by the United Kingdom which deployed (6) RAF Typhoon fighters from the IX Bomber Squadron to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base earlier this month. The mission began at a ceremony on April 9th, 2024. The Finnish Air Force currently flies 54 F/A-18s with 64 F-35s on order from the United States. The deployment of almost 10% of the Finnish Air Force’s fighters to Romania puts immense logistical and national security constraints on Finland, further demonstrating its willingness to support the alliance.

These Finnish aircraft will almost certainly be used to intercept Russian aircraft in the Black Sea, while also escorting alliance ISR aircraft through the same airspace.

Tessaron
Tessaron
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.

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