Page 8 - CER_SENIN_nr_4-2017

Basic HTML Version

Inthespringof2014, aCanadiandetachment
partofNATO’sreassuranceof theeasternflank
of the alliance. Also, in March-April 2016, a
joint Romanian-Canadian training exercise
and conclusions of those previous missions
helped you in anyway?
For me personally this is my first mission to
Romania, and the feedback we received from
our colleagueswhocame toRomaniabeforeus
was definitely important. The information they
provided helped us make decisions about the
sizeandcompositionof themission. Infact, some
of the members in the Air Task Force right now
were on those previous missions, for example,
oneof our orderly roomclerks; shewas onboth
of the past missions to Romania, and has provi-
ded us with a great deal of insight. Further hel-
pingour team,wealsohaveacoupleofmembers
with Romanian backgrounds who speak the
language; this helps tremendously when
interacting with our Romanian Air Force coun-
terparts, and the Romanian public.
Whatwasyourfirst impressionuponarriving
Imust say,wereceivedanexcellentwelcome
fromtheRomanianpeople. TheRomanianshave
been very gracious hosts, and everybody here
was very friendlyandextremely supportive. The
weatherwasalsogreat inAugustwhenwearrived
and it has been really good all along. Although
it’sa longmission, betweenfour andfivemonths
intotal formostof theteam,wefeel verywelcome
andwe’re really enjoying the experience.
of ​Romania did you visit?
Personally, as the commander, I don’t really
have a lot of spare time to visit, but we try to
make it to Constanta when we can, either for
supper at a local restaurant, or just to see some
sights. When the weather was nicer, members
of the Air Task Force went to the beach a few
times and that was well received. Overall it’s an
incredibly beautiful country and members of
the task force are enjoying many of the sites!
Occasionally, when guests visit, we take them
to Constanta to show themaround and go to a
local restaurant. We’re trying to learn as much
as we can about the Romanian culture and
history. For example,we’ve foundtherearesome
important archaeological sites and ruins near
MK Air Base, and we’ve taken the opportunity
to visit them as much as we can, and immerse
ourselves in this great country and your
What do you want to transmit to Romanians
whodonot have a very clear ideaabout your
role here?
Themessage I reallywant to send is howwe
are only here to help enhance the capabilities
of our Romanian Air Force partners. They are a
talentedandextremely capablegroupof pilots
and maintainers, and they have all the tools
necessary to conduct the air policing mission
by themselves. We are only here to enhance
their capability, and help preserve the integrity
of Romania’s airspace, as a NATO ally. Further,
this has been a great opportunity to train with
the Romanian Air Force and increase interope-
rabilitywithother allies operating in the region.
Are they a compact team? What is their level
of training? Have they been on other abroad
Our contingent is made up of members of
409Tactical Fighter Squadron from4Wing, Cold
Lake, 2 Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagotville and
several other places from across the Royal
Interview with
Canadian Air
Task Force
About 135 Royal Canadian Air Forces members and four CF-188
Hornets are taking part in block 45 of NATO enhanced Air Policing in
Romania. Their mission started September 1, 2017 and will last until
December 31, 2017, with the main objective of supporting NATO air
Our teamhadtheopportunity totalk toLieutenant-ColonelHickey,
whowas recentlyappointedcommandingofficerof409Tactical Fighter
Squadron, and leads the task forcecomprisedof afighter detachment
of aircrewandmaintainers from4WingColdLake,Alberta, andsupport
personnel, including force protection and engineers from 2 Wing
Bagotville,Québec, andacross theRCAF. Very important toadd is that
Lieutenant-Colonel Hickey is also a CF-188 Hornet pilot, so he has a
great insight on every aspect of themission.
Mirela VÎŢĂ
Nr. 4 (151)
w w w . r o a f . r o