New Allies Ready to Take Over NATO Baltic Air Policing mission
Portugal will lead the 41st rotation of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission out of Šiauliai, Lithuania with F-16 fighter aircraft and personnel from Air Base N.º5, Monte Real, Portugal.
Photo: HQ AIRCOM PAO, Christian Timmig
Apr 7, 2016
Lead nation Spain and augmenting nation Belgium are
preparing to wrap up their deployments on the 40th rotation of NATO’s Baltic
Air Policing (BAP) mission as Portugal and the United Kingdom prepare to take
At Šiauliai Air Base, Spain completes its third deployment
under NATO’s mission, providing safety to the Baltic region through the start
of 2016. Portugal will now serve as the new BAP lead nation and return to
Šiauliai for the third time with its F-16 fighter aircraft.
The deployment of Belgian F-16 fighter jets at Ämari Air
Base also draws to a close this month. For Belgium, this was the fifth
deployment and second as an augmenting nation. The UK will now take over on its fourth deployment, utilising
Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter aircraft for the third time.
The UK will augment the 41st rotation of NATO’s
Baltic Air Policing mission out of Ämari, Estonia with Typhoon fighter aircraft
and personnel from II (AC) Sqn, RAF Lossiemouth. Photo courtesy Royal Air Force
The BAP mission will officially hand over at both locations
at the end of the month. Two
handover-takeover ceremonies will take place with representatives from all
Allies involved in NATO’s BAP 40th and 41st rotations.
Policing is a peacetime collective defence mission that safeguards the
integrity of NATO Alliance Member’s Airspace. Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) headquartered at
Ramstein, Germany, oversees the NATO Air Policing missions with 24/7 command
and control from two Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOCs). See more
The Air Policing
mission above the Baltic States illustrates the ability of the Alliance to
share and pool existing capabilities. It
started in April 2004 and has been executed continuously ever since. So far,
most of the NATO nations have participated in this mission. See more on Air Policing