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Oct 8 2021

Danish F-16 detachment has a busy first month in Baltic mission

RAMSTEIN, Germany - Already one month into the three-month deployment, the Danish F-16 detachment based at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, have been in great demand.

The dedication of the 60 strong Danish Air Force detachment has kept the four F-16s ready 24/7 to react. Working side by side with Allies from Portuguese Air Force also based in Šiauliai and their hosts from the Lithuanian Air Force, they have responded almost daily to live scrambles or carried out training events.

This means that we must constantly be flexible in our way of approaching the task

"The air picture over the Baltic is very dynamic, and we do not necessarily know what we will encounter until we have scrambled and on our way to intercept an unidentified aircraft," said the Danish detachment commander. "This means that we must constantly be flexible in our way of approaching the tasks," he concludes. 

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Danish groundcrews prepare the F-16 for Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) ready to scramble against any unidentified aircraft threatening NATO airspace. Photo courtesy of Danish Air Force.
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Danish F-16 taxiing ready for a training mission alongside Allies in the Baltic Sea region, helping improve tactics and readiness. Photo courtesy of Danish Air Force.

Through the month of September the detachments at Šiauliai carried out 18 intercepts. Their task is to prevent military aircraft from entering NATO Air Space while flying close to NATO borders. Over the course of the mission they will also conducted numerous training sorties to further enhance pilot skills and support Allied joint training events and exercises.

This is the eighth time that Danish F-16 fighter jets have been deployed to the Baltics to support the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission. But as the plan is now, it will probably also be the last time. From 2025 the newly purchased F-35s will take over from the F-16 for the Danish Air Force, one of many NATO nations who are modernising their fleets to advanced 5th generation fighters.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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