NATO Increases Surveillance in Romania

NATO Increases Surveillance in Romania

( – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) announced on January 12 that it would begin aircraft surveillance operations in Romania. The move comes as part of an effort to bolster the alliance’s presence in the region and track any attempts by the Kremlin to continue its conquest into allied countries. The surveillance planes, which NATO had been storing in Geilenkirchen, Germany, began arriving in Bucharest on January 17.

Romania, which shares much of its northern border with Ukraine, became a member of NATO in 2004. Like its war-torn neighbor, the former Soviet bloc country has a good portion of its border territory along the Black Sea, and its positioning makes the former communist nation particularly vulnerable to Russia, which is just across the water.

The deployment of NATO’s Airborne Warning and Control System will allow officials to track enemy craft while they’re still “hundreds of kilometers away.” Along with the aircraft, Romania will receive around 180 military personnel to help in its defense. The Air Force base in Otopeni will house the allied forces. The alliance hopes the maneuver will deter Russia from advancing on any other friendly countries in the region while also sending a message that it means business. The promise of an early warning also offers improved peace of mind during such uncertain times.

The AP News reported that these planes are among NATO’s few shared assets, which include a small fleet of drones it keeps in Italy. The organization has kept the aircraft in good repair and estimates they’ll remain usable until 2035.

NATO had already increased its overall presence in the Baltic Sea region, which also borders Germany, Poland, Denmark, the Nordic countries, and areas in eastern Europe. Specifically, the surveillance craft are seeking out “Russian warplanes near NATO borders.” The current mission will continue for the next several weeks.

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