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 Jul 28 2020

Lithuanian President visits Baltic Air Policing and underlines credible deterrence

ŠIAULIAI, Lithuania - The Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda today visited the Lithuanian Air Base at Šiauliai to meet with NATO air force detachments from Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany, presently deployed in the country to execute the Allied Baltic Air Policing mission.

“The Baltic Air Policing mission is a great example of NATO solidarity,” President Nausėda said. “Rotating contingents of soldiers from different countries with up-to-date military equipment demonstrate the inexhaustible commitment of the Alliance to the protection of the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian airspace,” he added wishing all detachment members success and thanking them for their meaningful mission.

The Baltic Air Policing mission is a great example of NATO solidarity

According to the President – who also visited a United States detachment at the air base – a serious approach to the defence of the region as well as the US efforts to develop an integrated air defence architecture show that the security of the Baltic States and Poland is seen as an essential element of the security of the Alliance as a whole.

President Nausėda emphasised that Lithuania sought to further strengthen its air defence capabilities and saw this as a priority. The country was acquiring the NASAMS ground-based medium-range air defence system and will test elements of the system for the first time in September this year during in the international exercise “Tobruq Legacy 2020” held in Lithuania.

“We will continue to do everything possible to ensure our security. We are well aware that deterrence only works when the potential opponent knows, that in the event of aggression he will face a strong will and adequate defence capabilities tested in the exercise”, the President concluded.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office based on information provided by the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence

President Gitanas Nausėda has taken a seat inside the cockpit of a Spanish Air Force F-18 fighter aircraft as Lieutenant Colonel Jesús Gutiérrez Gallego, the Spanish Detachment Commander, explains technical features of the jet. Photo by Alfredas Pliadis.
President Gitanas Nausėda (second from left , first row) among the Spanish Air Fore detachment presently leading NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania. Photo by Alfredas Pliadis.
The Royal Air Force Typhoon detachment, currently augmenting the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission welcoming President Gitanas Nausėda (right) with the commander of a visiting German Eurofighter detachment and the Commander of the Lithuanian Air Force in the background. Photo by Alfredas Pliadis.
President Gitanas Nausėda in front of the combined British and German detachments during his visit. The Royal Air Force and the German Air Force are currently conducting combined training flights at Šiauliai Air Base in preparation of a future mixed Air Policing mission. Photo by Alfredas Pliadis.

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