The jets from IX(B) Squadron flew into Mihail Kogălniceanu airbase on the Black Sea coast near Constanta, Romania where they are carrying out NATO enhanced Air Policing. The mission involves allied nations guarding Eastern European airspace from potential threats. This deployment demonstrates NATO’s collective resolve and assurance for our Eastern Allies, as well as showing that the UK remains a leading NATO member that is committed to NATO Operations.
IX (B) Squadron has seen its role changed slightly with it becoming fully operational in early 2021 and this is the first time it has deployed since standing up at RAF Lossiemouth in 2019. It is the seventh operational Typhoon Squadron in the Royal Air Force and is able to support both Quick Reaction Alert here and overseas, as well as global Defence taskings such as Operation SHADER.
Station Commander, Group Captain Chris Layden said: “The departure of the four IX (B) aircraft was the culmination of a lot of planning, training and preparation by the Squadron, the station and the wider RAF, that started last year to make this deployment happen. This NATO Air Policing mission is a regular responsibility for the Typhoon Force, including those who are based here at RAF Lossiemouth. And to deploy at the current time creates additional challenges with all our personnel completing a period of pre-departure quarantine to ensure the mission can be as safe as possible. This extends the time they will spend away from their families and loved ones.”
Previously used as an ‘aggressor’ squadron to support the training of other pilots, the conversion of IX(B) to a fully operational front-line asset is just one of many changes at RAF Lossiemouth which continues to evolve and develop into next-generation fighter and maritime patrol base, ready to secure the UK’s skies and seas for many years to come from all corners of the globe.
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