While not a party to the brutal war that Russia is waging in Ukraine, NATO stands united and in full solidarity with the Government and people of Ukraine in the defence of their country. NATO nations are providing unprecedented support to help Ukraine uphold its right to self-defence. At the same time, NATO remains vigilant, calm and closely coordinated, and will always do what is necessary to protect and defend all Allies. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there has been an increased use of missiles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and combat aircraft close to the borders of NATO nations. This increases the air and missile threat to NATO territory and populations, primarily due to miscalculation or loss of guidance or control.
For NATO, it meant increasing its presence along the eastern flank; more fighter and reconnaissance flights in a busy airspace. We set up a Joint Force Air Component to plan, organise, coordinate and control these missions, which are conducted in addition to our enduring Air Policing mission overseen by our two Combined Air Operations Centres. All measures are closely deconflicted and harmonised with civilian air traffic ensuring safety of the airspace and its users.