A ceremony held in Skopje, North Macedonia on December 9, marked the official inclusion of the Republic of North Macedonia airspace into the NATO Air Policing system. The symbolic occasion occurred at Skopje Airport selling the beginning of NATO Air Policing over the nation. Two Hellenic Air Pressure F-16 jets executed a simulated intercept of a Republic of North Macedonia authorities Learjet. The Minister of Defence of the Republic North Macedonia, Mrs. Radmila Shekerinska Jankovska, NATO’s consultant, Lieutenant Normal De La Cruz, Commander of NATO’s Mixed Air Operations Centre at Torrejón, Spain, and the Chief of the Hellenic Tactical Air Pressure, Lieutenant Normal Themistokles Bouroliass, watched because the fighters escorted the Learjet to Skopje Airport and monitored it throughout a secure touchdown.

A NATO E-3A AWACS additionally carried out a flypast of the ceremony offering a visible image of NATO’s dedication to all its member nations. The improved situational consciousness offered by the E3-A together with Allied fighters just like the Hellenic Air Pressure F-16s contribute to the 24/7 mission which ensures the integrity and safety of Allies’ airspace. The Mixed Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Torrejón, Spain, works with all Allies south of the Alps and controls the Air Policing mission together with above the Republic of North Macedonia. Working from their bases in Greece, the Hellenic Air Pressure will conduct the Air Policing mission on behalf of the Republic of North Macedonia guaranteeing a single normal of airspace safety inside the Supreme Allied Commander Europe’s space of duty. By way of its two CAOCs at Torrejón, Spain, and Uedem, Germany, NATO’s Allied Air Command oversees the enduring collective measures safeguarding the skies above the European Allies.


Greek F-16s conduct a simulated air interception throughout a flight over North Macedonia on December 9, 2021. NATO’s latest Allied nation North Macedonia reached an historic milestone formally becoming a member of NATO’s peacetime Air Policing Mission and enhancing the Alliance’s sturdy collective defence posture by way of within the Western Balkans. (Picture by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brett Dodge)

“NATO Air Policing is an important a part of collective defence, which serves because the spine for the Alliance,” stated Normal De La Cruz. “The plane you see right here right this moment are simply an instance of those who stay vigilant throughout the Alliance 24/7 to take care of the safety of our airspace. I hope that North Macedonia feels the assist of all Allied nations now that it has been formally built-in into this collective mission.”

“NATO protects, NATO unites and NATO strengthens, we see right this moment what these three primary objectives of the Alliance imply in actuality,” stated Mrs Radmila Shekerinska Jankovska. “With NATO membership, North Macedonia because the thirtieth member of essentially the most highly effective military-political alliance is each stronger and extra protected.”

North Macedonia has been a dependable accomplice to NATO for over twenty years previous to becoming a member of the Alliance, offering contribution to NATO, EU and UN led operations and missions. In 2020 it additional solidified its dedication to the soundness and safety of the Balkan area by contributing troops to NATO’s KFOR mission in Kosovo. Previous to the ultimate integration into the NATO Air Policing system, since its accession to NATO in March 2020 the Air Policing mission over the Republic of North Macedonia was executed by the Hellenic Air Pressure beneath a bilateral association.
NATO Air Policing is a peacetime mission, which goals to protect the safety of Alliance airspace. It’s a collective activity and includes the continual presence – 24 hours a day, three hundred and sixty five days a yr – of fighter plane and crews, that are able to react rapidly to attainable airspace violations.

NATO Officially Welcomes the Republic of North Macedonia Into Collective Air Policing System
Radmila Šekerinska, the Minister of Defence of North Macedonia, left, and Lieutenant Normal Fernando de la Cruz Caravaca, the Commander of NATO’s Mixed Air Operations Centre Torrejon, communicate throughout a ceremony marking the enablement of NATO’s Air Policing mission over North Macedonia on December 9, 2021.(Picture by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brett Dodge)