Four Typhoon fighter jets from RAF Lossiemouth have arrived in Romania to secure the skies against potential intruders.
Crews from the Moray base are fulfilling duties as part of Nato’s air policing mission.
The mission involves allied nations guarding Eastern European airspace from potential threats.
About 180 personnel from RAF bases across the UK will be based on the Black Sea coast through the summer.
RAF Lossiemouth crews ‘well prepared’ to respond
Four Typhoon jets from IX Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth arrived at the base near Constanta in Romania at the weekend.
Previous detachments to the Eastern European region have resulted in UK crews responding to Russian aircraft approaching Nato airspace.
Wing Commander Lamping, officer commanding the 121 Expeditionary Air Wing detachment, said: “This pre-planned deployment is the latest RAF contribution to Nato Air Policing.
“We have returned to Romania to reassure our allies that the UK is fully committed to working alongside our Nato partners to secure the Alliance’s skies.
“This defensive air policing mission in the Black Sea region is very similar to UK Quick Reaction Alert (QRA), so the pilots and supporting personnel are experienced operators when it comes to delivering Nato air policing.
“Despite the difficult circumstances caused by Covid-19 we are well prepared and ready to deliver the mission.”
The latest detachment to Romania marks the third time the RAF has been deployed to the country for the air policing mission.
RAF Lossiemouth crews are well-drilled for the operation due to the QRA operation requiring them to scramble to Russian planes approaching UK airspace from the north-east.
Personnel from Moray have previously been deployed to Lithuania and Iceland on the same Nato mission to protect the skies of allies unable to perform the role themselves.
The operation involves allies taking turns to protect regions with Italian, German, Spanish and French personnel also deployed to Eastern Europe last year.