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Aug 12 2019

Spanish Air Force continues augmenting NATO Baltic Air Policing mission

RAMSTEIN, Germany - Augmenting NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission, the Spanish Air Force detachment  of 129 operating and support personnel and four EF-18M fighter jets, has assured the Baltic member nations of NATO’s commitment and readiness and also been flying Baltic Air Policing missions safeguarding the airspace in the region.

“Since the very beginning, when our team arrived on 24 April, the Commander of Siauliai Air Base and all his personnel have made us feel at home,” said the Spanish Detachment Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Alberto Valero. “In turn, we have maintained my country’s commitment to NATO of operating our four EF-18M fighters contributing to Baltic Air Policing. Almost 20 times we took to the skies for alert scrambles, executing nearly 700 flying hours on surveillance mission in the Baltic airspace,” he added

Baltic Air Policing mission has been an excellent opportunity to work and perform in a multinational Allied environment

“For all the women and men of the my “Vilkas Detachment”, the Baltic Air Policing mission has been an excellent opportunity to work and perform in a multinational environment,” added Lieutenant Colonel Valero. “Moreover, the conviction that a real intercept mission, launching our fighters within minutes, has its origin in the daily  work, effort and high professionalism of almost 130 people. It is a great achievement on which all of my team will look with pride when the redeploy to Spain early next month,” he said.

“In addition, we have had a very close collaboration with our Hungarians colleagues, and now friends, who led the NATO Baltic Air Policing here at Siauliai,” said Lieutenant Colonel Alberto Valero. “We have participated in several international training activities; in each project we cooperated with the Allies, we have had the chance of training in multinational and bilateral missions which undoubtedly is an enriching and fruitful experience,” he added.  

 “I am really proud of being the commander of this mission. Baltic Air Policing not only is a mission of international relevance, but also a mission of continuous learning,” he said. “When we come into contact with NATO context we learn to work without borders, because NATO means working together according to the same standards and procedures, shared objectives and results, all of which are aimed at building solid collective defence for the Alliance,” he concluded. 

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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