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On Saturday, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced typhoon jets and Royal Air Force (RAF) personnel are being deployed to Romania for a fourth year to join the long-standing NATO air policing mission for the Black Sea region.
The RAF deployment forms part of NATO’s increased presence in Europe in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the MoD said.
It involves four Typhoon jets from 3 (Fighter) Squadron, normally based at RAF Coningsby, and 150 RAF personnel.
Armed forces minister James Heappey said: “The UK remains committed to NATO and European security in the face of Russian aggression and the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.”
Air Vice-Marshal Philip Robinson, Air Officer Commanding 11 Group said:
“The arrival of our personnel and equipment in the region highlights the RAF’s continued commitment and contribution to the NATO Air Policing mission in Romania.
“During the deployment, we will be working alongside our Romanian and other NATO partners, enabling the delivery of the mission and protecting and reassuring our allies, whilst building confidence and maintaining deterrence.”
Air policing is a purely defensive operation, the MoD said, and “ensures the security and integrity of all NATO alliance member’s airspaces”.
Commenting on the news in an article titled “Will the EU ever say ‘thank you’ to the United Kingdom for defending its territory?”, Facts4EU campaigners blasted the bloc’s inefficient defence.
They wrote: “We have previously reported many times on the appallingly low levels of defence spending amongst EU countries.
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“Two weeks ago the new German Chancellor finally announced that Germany’s defence spending would increase from 1.2 percent to 2 percent of GDP – the NATO minimum.
“For years Germany has consistently underspent on defence.
“The deficit is now so large that even if the German Chancellor had announced an increase to 10 percent of GDP in an effort to catch up, it would take years for the Germans to have an effective force.
“Germany has a significant arms industry which sells to countries in the EU and around the world.
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“Sadly it has not been able to supply its own armed forces sufficiently, due to insufficient federal budgets for decades.”
Pointing to EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen as the main culprit for the bloc’s failing defence system, they added: “Germany’s Defence Minister from 2013 to 2019 was one Ursula von der Leyen.
“She was regularly described in the German media as Germany’s least effective minister.
“She was then parachuted into Brussels by Angela Merkel in 2019 and appointed as EU Commission President.”
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