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NATO Air Policing mission launched: From today on, Italian, Greek fighter aircrafts will be protecting Montenegro's airspace

NATO Air Policing mission launched: From today on, Italian, Greek fighter aircrafts will be protecting Montenegro
Published date 05.06.2018 15:38 | Author PR Service

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PR ServicePodgorica, Montenegro (5 June 2018) -- NATO Air Policing mission began earlier today in Montenegro. In the future, the airspace of Montenegro will be protected and patrolled by fighter aircrafts of the Air Force of Italy and the Air Force of Greece.

At a ceremony, which took place at the military airport in Golubovci, the Italian and Greek fighter aircrafts demonstrated the landing of an "aircraft-intruder," represented by a Government's plane.

"What we have seen today is just a small part of the benefits Montenegro derives from NATO membership. This is an indicator of the correctness of the policies and decisions we have pursued and made in the previous period. Today we feel increasingly safer because our borders, the sky and the sea are protected from both unintentional and intentional abuse," Defence Minister Predrag Bošković pointed out.

He thanked all the Alliance members for recognising everything Montenegro has done in the previous period, showing particular appreaciation to Italy and Greece, who accepted to protect Monteegro’s airspace on behalf of all other members of the Alliance.

PR ServiceAll for one and one for all. Montenegro, as well as the 28 allies before it, will understand what this means to the unity of common values, commitment to common security and the concept of collective defence, said Brigadier General Roberto di Marco, Deputy Commander of the Air Force Command and Deployable Air Command and Control Centre. On behalf of NATO, he announced the start of the Air Policing mission in Montenegro.

General di Marco pointed out that this is a peacekeeping mission, an obvious example of the principle of collective security, which is at the core of the North Atlantic Treaty.

He stressed that NATO appreciates Montenegro's contribution to common Euro-Atlantic security through NATO-led missions and operations, highlighting the country’s contribution to the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan. Montenegro continues to help consolidate stability and security in the Western Balkans. Montenegro's accession to NATO is the most recent example of NATO's Open Door policy and the benefits this policy brings to Euro-Atlantic security," General di Marco said.

PR ServiceCommander of the Combat Forces of the Italian Air Force, Major General Silvano Frigerio, addressed the attendees. He said this is another opportunity to map the regional security path, another stone in strengthening NATO cohesion, but also a tangible expression of the commitment of the Alliance to the new ally. We will tackle any potential threat to the Montenegrin sovereignty, said Major Frigerio.

Manfred Reudenbach, Deputy Chief of the Public Affairs Office at Allied Command, held a briefing at the airport hangar for journalists and guests on the NATO command structure, the structure of the Allied Air Command and the Air Policing mission and its key elements.

The official ceremony was attended by ambassadors of Italy and Greece in Montenegro, Luca Zelioli and Sotirios Atanasiou.

Air Policing Mission is one of the most important forms of direct benefit of Montenegro's membership in NATO.

Given its limited capacities, Montenegro will receive support from Allies in the field of airspace protection through the NATO mission of non-combat character, for which Montenegro will have no additional financial obligations other than those already foreseen in the joint NATO budget.

NATO Air Policing provides the integrity of the airspace of allied states and their protection through ongoing patrols under the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS).).