Poland new lead nation in NATO Baltic Air Policing
The Polish F-16 (left) and Spanish F-18 (right) jets will conduct NATO Air Policing over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from May on for four months. Photos: Bera Bartosz, Pablo Blanco)
30 Mar 2017
RAMSTEIN, Germany – This May, NATO’s Air Policing in the Baltic Region will swap out lead nation at Šiauliai, Lithuania, and augmenting nation at Ämari, Estonia.
For the sixth time, the Polish Air Force will ensure the integrity of the skies over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania providing four F-16 fighter aircraft for the standing peacetime Allied mission of Air Policing. The jets will deploy from their home base at Poznan together with a detachment of pilots, technicians, maintainers and supply staff. The Polish jets are going to replace Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s.
Likewise, the Spanish Air Force is preparing to deploy their F-18 fighter jets from Zaragoza Air Base in Spain to Estonia, to augment the Baltic Air Policing mission. The detachment consists of five jets and approx. 130 military operators and support staff. The F-18 will be taking over the mission at Ämari from the German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon jets which executed the mission.
NATO remains fully committed to Air Policing in the airspace of the Allies; it will maintain a robust and sustainable Baltic Air Policing mission.
NATO launched the Baltic Air Policing mission in 2004, when Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania acceded to NATO without their own Air Policing assets. Since then 17 Allies have taken turns ensuring territorial integrity in the Baltic skies. The next scheduled rotation is foreseen for the September timeframe.
Story by Allied Air Command PAO