RAMSTEIN, Germany – Hungary is scheduled to be the lead nation for
NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission at Šiauliai, Lithuania, together
with augmenting nations Spain and the United Kingdom.
May 2019 Hungary will take over the lead of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing
mission deploying their JAS-39 Gripen fighter aircraft to Šiauliai, Lithuania. This is the second time since 2015 that Hungary will deploy their
Gripen fighters and an air force detachment to lead the mission out of Lithuania.
Spanish Air Force will also fly their F-18 fighters out of Šiauliai Air
Base; their detachment augments the mission under NATO’s Assurance
Measures. This is the sixth time Spain has deployed under the mission –
twice as lead nation in 2006 and 2016 and three times as augmenting
nation in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
The Royal Air
Force is the second augmenting nation and will fly their Eurofighter
aircraft out of Ämari Air Base in Estonia. The United Kingdom was the
third nation to lead the mission in 2004 and have since augmented once
in Siauliai in 2014 and twice in Ämari in 2015 and 2016.
deployment is a special occasion as it will be the 50th NATO fighter
detachment deploying since 2004 to safeguard the airspace over
Latvia and Estonia.
NATO Baltic Air Policing
is a peacetime defensive mission that binds NATO Allies together to
protect each other, setting a spirit of solidarity within the
Alliance. The two additional detachments deployed to the region in the
next four months demonstrate collective resolve and deter any threat
against NATO Allies. These Assurance Measures were introduced
in 2014, when NATO authorised additional fighter detachments to deploy
to the region in response to Russia’s illegal actions in
Ukraine. These additional assets allow Allied Air Command, via its
Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany, to employ assets more flexibly providing an Air Policing capability to safeguard NATO airspace in the Baltic Region.
Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office, Ramstein, Germany