Until April 2014, the Baltic Air Policing mission was effectively executed by a single Allied fighter detachment at Šiauliai; in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, NATO – within the Assurance Measures for Allies on the eastern flank – has authorized additional enhanced Air Policing detachments and opened a second airfield for BAP at Ämari, Estonia.
This is the 4th Italian and 12th German deployment to the region. Besides being responsible for flying NATO Air Policing missions over the Baltic Allies, they will carry out combined training with the Lithuanian and Estonian Armed Forces and other Allies in the region. The Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany controls the mission. The continuation of the Baltic Air Policing mission demonstrates NATO’s cohesion and the collective resolve of Allies to implement deterrence and defence.
Italian and German Eurofighters securing the skies over NATO. Photos courtesy of Italian and German Air Forces.