A facility near Bucharest is now home to two of the three NATO surveillance aircraft temporarily stationed there.
From there, they will launch flights to track Russian military action close to the 30-nation military alliance’s boundaries.
One more Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft is scheduled to land at Otopeni air base later on Tuesday.
They are expected to stay there for a few weeks.
The NATO “eyes in the sky,” or AWACS aircraft, are part of a fleet of 14, typically based in west Germany.
They can find aircraft hundreds of kilometers away thanks to their huge radar domes installed on the fuselage.
After the first jet touched down, Peer Gebauer, the German ambassador to Romania, remarked that the deployment “underlines our resolve to stand strong in this moment of crisis.”
This AWACS surveillance mission, which will begin in Romania today, demonstrates his resolve and commitment to protecting every square inch of allied land.
NATO has increased its presence on the eastern border of Europe since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
This includes sending more multinational battlegroups to alliance members Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Slovakia.
The AWACS has also conducted routine patrols over eastern Europe and the Baltic Sea region to locate Russian warplanes close to NATO borders.
NATO analyst and former Romanian diplomat Sebastien Slavitescu said the AWACS might assure nations near the conflict, like Romania, which borders Ukraine.
“We haven’t had a conflict (in Europe) since the Second World War,” he remarked, referring to the NATO eastern flank.
“These planes, or any greater military support for Romania in these difficult times in our neighborhood, is highly appreciated.”
The AWACS operations, he continued, deliver Moscow a crystal-clear message that reads, “We’re watching you; we know what you’re doing.”
Romania, which joined NATO in 2004, has since played a significant role in the alliance during the conflict, including by holding the NATO Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bucharest in November of last year.
At the height of the Cold War, in 1977, when Jimmy Carter was elected president of the United States and a missile crisis with the Soviet Union was starting to fester in Europe, the AWACS Boeing E-3s were jointly purchased.
The aircraft is among the few military resources that NATO as an alliance owns, along with a small fleet of drones in Italy.
They receive routine maintenance so they can continue to fly until 2035.
After September 11, 2001, some were placed in American skies to defend towns and nuclear power reactors.
For the first time in its history, NATO sent resources to help support one of its members.
Additionally, they can be employed in air policing, evacuation efforts, and disaster relief.