NATO Air policing protects North Macedonia’s airspace
A ceremony to mark the inclusion of the Republic of North Macedonia in the NATO Air Policing system was held on 9 December 2021 at Skopje airport. Two Hellenic Air Force F-16 jets executed a simulated intercept of a Republic of North Macedonia government Learjet. The Minister of Defence of the Republic North Macedonia, Mrs. Radmila Shekerinska Jankovska, NATO's representative, Lieutenant General De La Cruz, Commander of NATO's Combined Air Operations Centre at Torrejón, Spain, and the Chief of the Hellenic Tactical Air Force Lt. General Themistokles Bourolias, watched as the fighters escorted the Learjet to Skopje Airport and monitored it during a safe landing.<!IoRangePreExecute>
''NATO Air Policing is a vital part of collective defence, which serves as the backbone for the Alliance,'' General De La Cruz said. ''The aircraft you see here today are just an example of those that remain vigilant across the Alliance 24/7 to maintain the security of our airspace. I hope that North Macedonia feels the support of all Allied nations now that it has been officially integrated into this collective mission,'' he also pointed out.