NATO airspace security is under constant control. Last Minute GERMANY, Russia headlines and events


Ensuring the security of NATO airspace has been a priority since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For NATO countries, this is a common task.

Fighter pilots from Italy, Germany, America and elsewhere take turns checking the alliance’s eastern flank for threats to NATO airspace.

An Italian Eurofighter patrols the skies over the Romanian-Ukrainian border.

Italian Colonel Michel Morelli says that the group of 150 people who arrived at this air base in Romania has only one mission.

“Basically, we are here to protect Romanian airspace from any threat,” says Colonel Michel Morelli of the Italian army.

The group is part of the NATO air traffic control task force created after Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea.

Russia may call it a provocation, but NATO calls it deterrence.

Colonel Morelli said: “Of course, this is containment. “We are not here for war.”

They act as a kind of shield in NATO airspace.

“Some come to us, they can’t just wait for one country to face this threat, but an organization as large as NATO is ready to defend the country with many combat aircraft, many pilots who know each other,” Col. Morelli said. .

Planes are fast. Passenger planes are slower than fighter jets. They fly 11 km per minute. The crew of two planes is always ready for a possible collision and must take off within 15 minutes.

Morelli and the Italians compete to test their speed.

The exercise, called the T-race, is a race that must be started at any time, day or night.

The team makes it easy.

Defense experts say that as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, pilots like Morelli are vital to NATO’s eastern flank.

Samuel Bendett of the New America Security Center said: “There are expectations that Russia will attack in the coming weeks, some say it may have already begun. So these NATO pilots will monitor the actions of the Russian Air Force.”

The Morelli crew can take off in just 11 minutes. But Morelli says they’ll be back in a few days to hurry up with the times. It highlights the importance of every second when NATO airspace is threatened.

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