NATO's Air Policing mission has safeguarded the airspace over and near the Allies Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia since they joined the Alliance in 2004. Seventeen Allied fighter detachments have since ensure the Alliance is vigilant, ready and capable ensuring the integrity of Allied airspace in the region. This mission is continuing even given the current global restrictions aimed at containing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We thank Spain, France and the UK for taking over NATO's Baltic-air policing mission; this 24/7 mission demonstrates that our commitment to the security of our Allies is rock-solid and that our vital work goes on
"We thank Spain, France and the UK for taking over NATO's Baltic-air policing mission", said NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu. "This 24/7 mission demonstrates that our commitment to the security of our Allies is rock-solid and that our vital work goes on despite the coronavirus pandemic," she stressed.
NATO invites media to join the mission for press briefing from time to time and to see for themselves how Allies are working together to accomplish the important mission. Since travelling across international borders is restricted at present, NATO HQ press staff has introduced the idea of a virtual press tour and worked with Allied Air Command and the air forces of Lithuania and Spain to prepare a session for international media via the internet.
Several journalists joined the online presentations and put their questions to the military representatives on May 28, 2020.
"If we can't bring the media to the mission, we thought we'd bring the mission to the media," said Mr. Karsten Otto, a NATO press officer. "We are pleased with this successful first virtual press briefing and grateful for the support from our colleagues from Lithuania and Spain; it has been a good cooperative effort to showcase NATO's cohesion, solidarity and readiness to international media," he added.