The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland were formally admitted into NATO on 12 March, with their air forces becoming part of the alliance's integrated air defence system.

All three countries and Romania have recently commissioned new air sovereignty operations centres, command and control bases with new US-supplied hardware, to integrate with the alliance's air defence structure.

NATO officials from air forces command at Ramstein have monitored simulated quick reaction alert exercises by Czech commanders using MiG-21 interceptors from three bases. Poland has updated the first eight of its MiG-29 fighters to comply with NATO standards, and has declared four of the aircraft and six pilots dedicated to NATO. All three nations have revised operational procedures.

Source: Flight International