THE Ministry of Defence has announced that it will be sending 130 military personnel to Romania as part of a joint effort to protect against Russian escalations.

The troops, along with six Eurofighter aircraft, will be deployed in February and March next year from the Andalucian base of Moron de la Frontera in Sevilla.

They will be based at the Mihail Kogalniceanu military base near the town of Constanza.  

The operation will be the first time that there will be a Spanish presence in the Black Sea military zone, with a mission to patrol Romanian airspace for Russian threats.

The Spanish troops will work alongside Romanian allies as part of NATO’s defense in eastern Europe. 

The mission was originally scheduled for this year, however due to technical issues, the British and Canadian Air Forces stepped in, with the latter’s deployment ending in December. 

The entire operation in the Black Sea area is managed from the central headquarters of the Combined Air Operations Centre in Madrid under the leadership of General Fernando de la Cruz Caravaca.

Tensions between nations has risen in recent years, with many Russian intercepts taking place with allied aircraft.

In May last year, Russian jets intercepted two American B-1 Lancer strategic bombers over Russian airspace, and in the same month this year, British jets were scrambled to intercept a Russian TU-95 Bear near the west coast of Scotland.

The two month deployment comes to an end next April, where another identical deployment will be sent from the Los Llanos base near Albacete to the Lithuanian base of Siauliai.

Spain currently has 350 soldiers based in neighbouring Lativa and on the Turkish border as part of a framework to maintain military superiority against Russia.

It also holds a Naval presence in the Black Sea in a joint operation with Bulgaria and the Ukraine. 

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