You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

NATO: AWACS aircraft to fly over Poland and Romania

Mar. 10, 2014 - 08:37PM   |  
NATO AWACS assists RNLAF to safeguard Dutch airspa
A NATO E-3A Sentry AWACS plane flies over European skies. The alliance is sending an undisclosed number of AWACS jets to patrol the skies over Poland and Romania, in response to Russia's recent military moves against Ukraine. (U.S. Department of Defense)
  • Filed Under

NATO is sending Airborne Early Warning and Control System aircraft to conduct reconnaissance flights over Poland and Romania to “monitor the crisis in Ukraine,” a NATO spokesman said Monday.

“These routes are well established and will be flown from their regular home airbases in Geilenkirchen, Germany, and Waddington, United Kingdom,” the spokesman said in an email Monday to Air Force Times.

The flights will take place solely on NATO territory, said the spokesman, who could not say how many AWACS aircraft will be involved in the mission.

On Feb. 28, Russian troops began moving into the Crimea region of Ukraine shortly after Ukraine’s former president, Viktor Yanukovych, was ousted by anti-government demonstrators. A referendum is slated for March 16, when voters in the Crimea peninsula will decide whether to leave Ukraine and join Russia.

The U.S. has responded to the crisis by sending a KC-135 aerial refueling plane and six F-15 fighter jets to Lithuania to help safeguard Baltic airspace, reinforcing the four F-15s that have been there since Jan. 1.

Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak has reportedly said the U.S. is sending 12 F-16s and 300 troops to his country. But a spokesman for U.S. European Command could not confirm those numbers.

“We have nothing yet to announce on sending aircraft to Poland and are still working out the details,” Navy Capt. Gregory Hicks said in an email Monday to Air Force Times.

If Crimea votes to join Russia, the Ukrainian troops stationed in Crimea could pose a problem for Russia. A retired U.S. general with expertise on the region said he expects the Ukrainians to fight if they are attacked.

“My experience was the Ukrainian infantry was very tough,” retired Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, commander of U.S. Army Europe from 2011 to 2012, told Military Times on March 3. “They are hard soldiers. They are used to hard conditions, and their leadership was becoming more professional as we were working with them in Europe.”

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

From Our Blogs


The latest from PT365

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook