NATO MUltimedia

Safe skies: NATO Air Policing – Bulgaria and Romania

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In Bulgaria and Romania, other NATO Allies supplement routine air policing with rotating detachments of supersonic fighters to secure the skies.


Across Europe, NATO fighter jets are on duty around the clock, ready to scramble in case of suspicious or unannounced flights near the airspace of our Allies. NATO calls this activity Air Policing, which has been an integral part of NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence for 60 years. In this series, we’ll explore NATO’s five special air policing arrangements to ensure the integrity of NATO’s airspace and the defence of our almost one billion citizens.

To enhance Air Policing along NATO’s eastern borders, NATO Allies provide assets that supplement existing NATO Air Policing capabilities in the north (the Baltic States and Poland) and, in parallel, augment national air policing capabilities in the south (Bulgaria and Romania). In response to Russia’s aggressive actions in the Black Sea region – including Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of the Crimean peninsula – other NATO Allies have sent detachments of fighter jets to augment the Bulgarian and Romanian Air Forces. In 2020, deployments of US F-16 Fighting Falcons and Canadian CF-18 Hornets to Bulgaria and Romania, respectively, gave Allies time for mutual familiarisation and bolstered the security of the skies in and around the Black Sea region.

Footage includes shots of US Air Force F-16s, Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornets, Bulgarian Air Force MiG-29 Fulcrums and Romanian Air Force MiG-21 Fishbeds.


This is the international version of an edited video. Please refer to the master or master with subtitles versions for the full transcript.
“Vertical Air” by Lee Groves and Peter George Marett
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This media asset is free for editorial broadcast, print, online and radio use. It is restricted for use for other purposes. Some footage courtesy of the Royal Canadian Air Force.