More NATO resources consolidate in Romania following response force activation
Russia's unexpected invasion of Ukraine has brought war at Romania's border. In response, NATO has moved to reinforce its eastern flank by sending more troops and military equipment to its Eastern European members, including Romania. France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, and the U.K. have recently announced they would send either troops or aircraft to Romania joining a stronger U.S. military presence in the country.
As NATO's Response Force was activated for the first time as a defensive measure in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine last week, several alliance members have announced the deployment of additional troops to Romania.
Italy announced it was sending four additional Eurofighter aircraft to the TF Air Black Storm in defense of NATO airspace, the country's Defense Ministry said.
As part of the strengthening of the Alliance's deterrence posture, starting from Monday the commitment of @ItalianAirForce in #Romania will be doubled. 4 additional #Eurofighters to the TF Air Black Storm in defense of #NATO airspace. 👇 @MinisteroDifesa #airpolicing https://t.co/3orfclaoAe— 🇮🇹 Italy at NATO (@ItalyatNATO) February 27, 2022
At the same time, Belgium will deploy 300 soldiers to Romania as part of NATO's Rapid Response, according to an announcement from Belgian PM Alexander De Croo.
Belgium assumes its responsibility within NATO Rapid Response, of which elements were activated yesterday. In the current phase, 300 Belgian soldiers will be deployed in Romania.— Alexander De Croo 🇧🇪🇪🇺 (@alexanderdecroo) February 26, 2022
The Navo Response Force is under the command of General Wolters, Supreme Allied Commander Europe. pic.twitter.com/yX7mPjz0XI
In its turn, France will relocate 500 soldiers in Romania as part of NATO's decision to consolidate presence on its eastern flank, general Thierry Burkhard, France's Chief of the Defense Staff, told television station France 24.
Last week, Germany's Defense Ministry said it would send three more fighter jets to Romania to support the NATO air policing mission. The Romanian Ministry of Defense said on February 24 that three Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets of the German Air Force landed at the Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base.
Meanwhile, four British RAF Typhoon fighter jets have been patrolling NATO airspace over Romania and Poland alongside NATO allies with Voyager air-to-air refueling aircraft in support.
Two F-35 fighters belonging to the U.S. Air Forces Europe and Africa (USAFE) were also deployed at the Borcea airbase in southern Romania on February 24. The U.S. has also started the transfer of 1,000 troops from Germany to Romania at the beginning of this month.
(Photo: Palinchak/ Dreamstime)