Bulgaria, Romania Sign NATO Air Policing Agreement
The Defense Ministers of Bulgaria and Romania, Gen. Anyu Angelov and Gen. Corneliu Dobritoiu, met in Sofia Tuesday for the singing of a Bulgarian-Romanian agreement under NATO's Air Policing program.
The document was inked by the commanders-in-chief of the air forces of Bulgaria and Romania, Maj. Gen. Kostantin Popov and Lt. Gen. Fanica Carnu.
"The signing of the technical agreement is an expression of the will of our two nations to guarantee with joint resources the protection of the air space at NATO's southeastern flank, and to pool their resources for the better protection of their citizens," Bulgarian Defense Minister Angelov declared after the signing of the Air Policing deal with Romania.
The document defines the rules for transborder Air Policing operations of the on-duty aircraft of Bulgaria and Romania and each other's air space, and procedures for coordination and safety.
Bulgaria, Romania, and the USA have boosted their military cooperation in the recent years under the so called Task Force East (formerly known as Joint Task Force East).
The Air Policing agreement with Romania is Bulgaria's second, after it signed an Air Policing deal with Greece at the end of 2010.
Under the NATO Air Policing deal signed between Bulgaria and Romania in Athens, the designated aircraft of the two nations will be able to enter the air space of one another in case of a threat as stipulated by the respective procedures.
Under NATO's Air Policing program, NATO members jointly and collectively conduct air policing to preserve the integrity of NATO airspace. Air policing encompasses radar surveillance and identification of air objects.
When required, fighter aircraft may be employed to assist in identification, or to assist/escort aircraft.
NATO members without the necessary national assets to conduct air policing are assisted by other NATO members to ensure that air sovereignty is maintained.
NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) is responsible for the conduct of NATO air policing.
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