Today, in Thessaloniki, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Greece signed a Technical Arrangement for Air Policing. The arrangement signed by the Chief of the General Staff, General Vasco Gjurcinovski, and the Chief of Defence, General Christos Christodoulou formalized the air policing mission, and will be implemented in coordination with NATO. The signed arrangement is derived from the new defence cooperation agreement, signed by the Defence Ministers Radmila Shekerinska and Evangelos Apostolakis, during the visit of the senior government delegation of Greece to our country in April, this year.
Moreover, in May, F-16 aircraft from the Greek armed forces performed two overflights in the airspace of the Republic of North Macedonia, thus marking the first test flight as part of the NATO air policing mission aimed ensuring the communications and radar coverage of our air space.
The air policing mission is an exclusive benefit that applies only to members of the Alliance and requires the Air Surveillance and Control System (ASACS), the Air Command and Control (Air C2) structure and with Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) (QRA(I)) aircraft and crews to be available on a 24/7 basis. The goal is to protect the integrity of the airspace of NATO member states.
The last NATO member state, Montenegro, during its NATO accession signed a Technical Agreement for Air Policing with Greece and Italy.