The French Air and Area Power labored with the U.S. Navy on Thursday to launch a NATO Air Shielding mission over Hungary demonstrating Allied cooperation, dedication and integration alongside NATO’s japanese flank. A French A-3330 Multi-Function Tanker Transport (MRTT) Phénix refueled two French Rafale fighter jets and 4 U.S. Navy F/A-18E fighters enabling a mixed and joint Air Shielding mission above Hungary. The French fighters from 4th Fighter Wing took off at Saint-Dizier air base in France and have been joined by 4 U.S. Navy F/A-18E fighter plane which launched from the George H.W. Bush Service Strike Group that arrived within the Mediterranean Sea in August on a scheduled deployment within the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) space of operations.

Two of the 4 U.S. Navy F/A-18 fighters flying alongside a French A-330 MRTT Phénix throughout the mission above Hungary. (Picture by Etat-Main des Armées)

“The Neptune collection is a tangible demonstration of the ability and functionality of the NATO Alliance in all area operations. It is a prime instance of NATO’s means to combine high-end maritime warfare capabilities of an allied provider strike group, making certain our collective means to discourage and defend,” stated Vice Admiral Thomas Ishee, commander Naval Putting and Assist Forces NATO and U.S. Sixth Fleet.


The aircrew of the French Air and Space Force A-330 MRTT Phénix replenished both fighter types to ensure sufficient on-station time for the Air Shielding mission
The aircrew of the French Air and Area Power A-330 MRTT Phénix replenished each fighter varieties to make sure enough on-station time for the Air Shielding mission.hoto by Etat-Main des Armées)

The Joint Power Air Part at Allied Air Command oversaw the plane sorties, the group deliberate and coordinated the air-to-air refueling missions and making certain air patrols. The actions have been a part of the continuing Neptune Sequence vigilance actions, integrating provider strike and amphibious strike functionality into NATO operations. The Air Shielding mission was carried out as French-US joint exercise beneath general NATO coordination. It showcases that’s has change into routine work for the battle planners to generate results within the maritime, air and land domains, offering deterrence and reassurance, and providing highly effective alternatives for Allied interoperability.

A French Rafale awaiting its turn to refuel above Hungary and conduct the Air Shielding mission.
A French Rafale awaiting its flip to refuel above Hungary and conduct the Air Shielding mission. (Picture by Etat-Main des Armées)

NATO’s Air Shielding mission is an elevated air and missile defence posture alongside the Alliance’s japanese flank, applied within the wake of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. Allies have deployed extra fighter jets and ground-based air and missile defence methods to guard Allies alongside the japanese flank towards potential air and missile threats. That is purely defensive, and a key element of NATO’s enhanced deterrence and defence posture. NATO’s Air Shielding includes deployments starting from a couple of weeks to a number of months at air bases and key areas within the japanese a part of the Alliance. NATO’s Air Policing mission has not modified and Allied fighter jets are on alert 24/7 to reply to plane which can pose a menace in or close to Allied airspace.