Greece, as has been known for some days now, will be the place where the largest NATO air exercise, code-named Ramstein Flag 2024, will be held in 2024. This is yet another proof of the enormous prestige that the Greek Air Force has acquired, with much effort and toil of its staff is the truth.
However, at the same time Turkey, which for many people is theoretically one foot out of NATO, has recently been undertaking important missions within the North Atlantic Alliance.
The latest of these missions is the forward air policing mission in Romanian airspace.
Romania has hosted Allied fighter detachments since 2014, when NATO's post-Russian invasion safeguards in Crimea introduced enhanced air policing to demonstrate the Alliance's presence and commitment along the eastern flank.
The Romanian Air Force has since then regularly carried out missions with deployed detachments and secured the legitimate mission of providing collective defence under the NATO flag.
In addition to the Turkish F-16s deployed at Borcea Air Base, German Eurofighters are currently at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta and a French MAMBA air and missile defence system operates from Capu Midia.
Combined with Romanian fighter aircraft, this posture continues to demonstrate the integration and coherence of the Allies' contribution by maintaining territorial integrity and promoting peace and security for the members of the NATO Alliance.
In the Black Sea region, four German Eurofighters will operate together with the Romanian Air Force as well as four Turkish F-16s to guard the skies over Romania. They are supported by a French surface air defence system "MAMBA" deployed at Capu Midia. In the Baltic region, four Belgian F-16s and four French Mirage 2000-5 aircraft will protect NATO airspace from Šiauliai Air Base in Lithuania, supported by four Polish F-16s flying from Ämari Air Base in Estonia. Italy will continue the deployment of four F-35s at Malbork Air Base in Poland in 2024.
Speaking of Italy, that country has invited Turkey to participate in the Poggio Dart-2023 exercise to be hosted between 11 and 15 December 2023 at Istrana Air Base in Italy.
Turkish Air Force fighters from both the US and NATO will participate in the exercise. Greece and France will participate as observers.