DefMin Les: Missions carried out by 53rd Fighter Squadron, to better defend airspace

The entry into the National Air Police Service under national command of the first squadron equipped with the F-16 aircraft represents a significant moment in the 15-year history of Romania's membership of the North Atlantic Alliance, the Minister of National Defense, Gabriel Les, said on Thursday, adding through the missions to be carried out from now on by the 53rd Fighter Squadron, our country's airspace will be even better defended. "Today we are writing an important history page for the Romanian Air Force. We can say that, through the missions that will be carried out starting today by the the 53rd Fighter Squadron, the Romanian airspace will be better defended. The 86th Air Base was reborn with the decision to host F-16 aircraft. This place can be said to be the restart point for the Romanian Air Force, which thus gains access to the category of military aviation flying with one of the most effective combat aircraft in the world," said Gabriel Les, present at the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft launch ceremony in the permanent combat service deployed at the 86th Air Force ''Lieutenant Aviator Gheorghe Mociornita'' Borcea, Calarasi County. In his opinion, the gradual shift from the MiG-21 Lancer, which will come out of use in the following years, to the F-16 multirole aircraft, has a special symbolism for our country. "I believe that the entry into the permanent Air Police Service under national command, of the first Squadron equipped with the F-16 aircraft is a milestone in the 15-year history of our membership of the North Atlantic Alliance. This squadron is just a first step in materializing the major multirole airplane capability," Les said. He pointed out that at the end of last year there were talks on the purchase of five F-16s in Portugal. The Minister of Defense expressed his wish that the modernization of the aircraft that could be taken over should be done in units within the Romanian Defense Industry. "By launching the F-16 aircraft air police missions we can say that the multirole aircraft strategic plan brings to maturity the first stage of its implementation. I know the huge effort that has been made for the operationalisation of this program (...) and I can tell you that the agreements concluded by the Romanian Government with those of Portugal and the United States of America were the best option at that time to endow the Romanian Air Force with advanced aircraft, allowing a wide range of missions to be carried out in accordance with modern operating concepts proven to be reliable and effective in real combat conditions," Gabriel Les said. According to him, the Borcea Air Base is under strong development and the modernization and expansion of the base at Campia Turzii is being envisaged in the future.AGERPRES(RO - author: Daniel Alexandru Florea, editor: Georgiana Tanasescu; EN - author: Simona Iacob, editor: Maria Voican)

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