Šiauliai, Lithuania – In a ceremony at the Lithuanian Air Base, the Royal Danish Air Force took over the lead in NATO's Baltic Air Policing from the United States Air Force.
This ceremony marks Baltic Air Policing at Šiauliai entering its fourteenth year with 17 Allies having accepted the task of deploying jets to the region to ensure the safety of the airspace and that of its users. In total, forty-five Allied air force detachments have deployed to Šiauliai in support of the mission, totalling over 3,000 personnel including pilots, technicians, logisticians, guards, air traffic controllers and many others functions.
"A strong and defensive Alliance, NATO remains committed to the defence of Allies and will continue to perform the peacetime mission of Air Policing, through Allied Air Command and the Combined Air Operations Centre, across the Alliance and specifically in the Baltic region," said Major General Thierry Dupont, Commander of NATO's Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany, highlighting the purpose of the long-standing mission.
From end of August 2017 to early January 2018, the United States Air Force F-15C detachment successfully safeguarded the Baltic airspace completing more than 560 flight hours, 270 training sorties plus approx. 30 intercepts.
Conducting their sixth BAP deployment the Royal Danish Air Force F-16 detachment will continue the mission for the first four months of 2018. The women and men of the detachment can count on the indispensable Host Nation Support provided by Lithuania. Together the team will carry on with the mission underlining the Allies' determination and resolve in contributing to NATO's collective defence.
Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office