Canada deploying fighter jets to Romania

avioaneLess than three weeks after announcing with considerable fanfare the withdrawal of Canada’s CF-18 fighter jets from the Mideast war in Syria and Iraq, the Liberal government revealed February 25 that four of these aircraft will deploy directly to Romania for joint exercises with the NATO member’s air force, reads.

One hundred Canadian military personnel will take part in the month-long training exercises from a Romanian air force base in Constanta. The deployment involves the Royal Canadian Air Forces’ 2 Wing, an air expeditionary force tasked with being ready for rapid deployment in Canada or anywhere around the world, according to

While not formally being conducted through NATO, exercise “Resilient Resolve” is nonetheless an important part of the alliance’s military build-up throughout Eastern Europe aimed at encircling and isolating Russia. Romania is one of the six Eastern European countries where NATO agreed to establish forward command bases in the wake of the Ukraine crisis in 2014—bases due to become operational in the early part of this year.

Canadian CF-18s operated in the country for the first time during the summer of 2014, when six jets took part in exercises at Campia Turzii . The three-month-long exercise was the first overseas mission involving the newly-created 2 Wing . Making clear the offensive purpose of 2 Wing, Lt.-Col. Luc Girouard told Canwest foreign affairs correspondent Mathew Fisher at the time, “We learned our lessons from Haiti, Aviano and Libya. We need to deploy quickly and we need people with experience to do it. That is our raison d’etre. It is a concept that has been developed over the years.”

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