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03 May 2024

E2C Hawkeye – From French Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle to Romania

E2C Hawkeye – From French Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle to Romania
NATO Allied Maritime Command
NATO Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office Press Release

A French E2C Hawkeye airborne control aircraft conducted an operational mission shielding the Alliance’s eastern flank on April 30, 2024 and conducted a refuelling at Borcea Air Base, Romania during NATO's Neptune Strike 24-1. 

Taking off from the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier currently sailing in the Mediterranean Sea off the Greek coast, the E2C flew into Romania to conduct a flight participating in NATO’s Air Shielding mission and supporting the deterrence and defence posture in the region.

The Hawkeye was refueled on the ground at Borcea Air Base, Romania, in a short Agile Combat Employment stopover. Supported by Romanian ground crews, this manoeuvre allowed extending its effective time on task for missions under NATO’s enhanced Vigilance Activity Neptune Strike 24-1.

This procedure enabled the E2C aircraft to execute the task and return to the Charles de Gaulle carrier and demonstrated interoperability among Allies during combined multi-domain operations.

During Neptune Strike 24-1, for the first time, the French aircraft carrier sails under the authority of NATO. Its embarked assets including the French Navy’s Hawkeye and Rafale fighter jets participate in the activities until May 9 demonstrating NATO’s ability to integrate joint high-end maritime strike capabilities.

Primarily, NEST prepares NATO to use and integrate the high-end maritime strike capabilities of Alliance nations; enabling their consideration and employment to deter threats to the Alliance.

Under the overall command and control of NATO’s Naval Striking and Support Forces, Allied naval and amphibious forces participating in Neptune Strike are deployed across the European theatre and conduct complex integrated missions among others with Allied air assets. This showcases that besides training across large distances, the Alliance and its members also maintain their ability to conduct standing enduring missions like Air Policing that keeps NATO territory safe.

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