Italian jets arrive in Bulgaria for enhanced air policing

  • 05 Jul. 2017 -
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  • Last updated: 11 Jul. 2017 10:35

Italian Eurofighter jets are joining Bulgarian MiG-29 fighter jets on 07 July 2017 for joint air policing of allied airspace over Bulgaria. Part of NATO’s enhanced air policing measures, the mission will last until October.

A MiG - 29A Fulcrum fighter jet from the Bulgarian Air Force, standing by for NATO’s Air Policing mission at Graf Ignatievo Airbase, Bulgaria. - NATO photo by Cynthia Vernat, Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

In addition to ensuring the safety of Bulgaria’s skies, the joint patrols will improve the ability of Bulgarian and Italian pilots to work together. The mission is also a demonstration of Allied solidarity.

Allied aircraft regularly patrol NATO’s airspace together. In the summer of 2016, for instance, American F-15 fighter jets joined the Bulgarian Airforce for a similar mission.

Bulgaria’s MiG-29 fighter jets have been part of NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence System since 2004, when Bulgaria joined NATO. The system safeguards Allied airspace and its users.