By Sally Underwood • 10 August 2021 • 14:32
Spanish fighter pilot speaks about his work. Image: NATO
Deployed to Lithuania as part of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission in May 2020, the Spanish fighter pilot talks about the challenge and pleasure of flying.
Cifuentes said he enjoys seeing his work make a difference in the Spanish military and to society.
Across Europe, NATO fighter jets are on duty, ready to scramble in case of suspicious or unannounced flights near the airspace of their allies. NATO calls this activity Air Policing, which has been a part of NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defense for 60 years.
There are approximately 35,000 daily air movements inside European airspace, and NATO’s Air Policing carries out around 400 interceptions each year.
NATO a Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOCs) in Spain and its Air Policing covers 13 countries, with around 786,000 square kilometres of land covered by it.
There are currently around 60 NATO quick-response jets on duty across Europe, with 21 allies contributing fighters, air command and control centres, and air surveillance stations to NATO Air Policing missions.
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Originally from London, Sally is based on the eastern Costa del Sol and is a journalist for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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