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 over.   

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.

NATO’s Air 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 on CAOCs

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

 

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