Home  /  Newsroom  /  2021  /  Polish Air Force starts Baltic Air Policing mission in Lithuania

Dec 1 2021

Polish Air Force starts Baltic Air Policing mission in Lithuania

RAMSTEIN, Germany –Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania hosted the hand over take over ceremony of NATO's Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission from Denmark and Portugal to Poland, the incoming lead nation and the 58th rotation since its beginning in 2004 on November 30.

The Polish Air Force will now safeguard the skies over the Baltic Sea with their F-16s until March 2022 for a regular term of four months.

The principle of collective defence is at the very heart of NATO's founding treaty. It remains a unique and enduring principle that binds its members together, committing them to protect each other and underlining a spirit of solidarity within the Alliance

"The principle of collective defence is at the very heart of NATO's founding treaty. It remains a unique and enduring principle that binds its members together, committing them to protect each other and underlining a spirit of solidarity within the Alliance," said Brigadier General Sławomir Żakowski, Deputy Commander of the Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany.

The Polish detachment Commander Lieutenant Colonel Paweł Stajniak received the key of the Baltic Airspace from the Danish Task Force Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Niels M. Andersen and Portuguese Air Force Detachment Commander, Major Emidio Fernandes.

"In this opportunity I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Danish and Portuguese soldiers for their excellent service. Your units have done an excellent job of protecting the Eastern Alliance's airspace. Have a safe trip home and a Merry Christmas with your loved ones," said Vilius Semeška, Lithuanian Vice minister.

Poland will now carry the torch and work with their Lithuanian colleagues at Šiauliai Air Base, protecting the airspace over the Baltic States. The Polish team can look back on an impressive track-record starting in 2004 as the second lead nation in BAP. Poland has been a six-time lead nation since then and augmented Baltic Air Policing at Ämari two times.

dsc_4462-7ykcz1
Vice Minister of National Defence Vilius Semeška during a speech. Photo by Antanas Gedrimas 
dsc_4562-49lzw2
Left Portuguese Air Force Detachment Commander Mj. Emidio Fernandes, in a middle Lt Col Niels M. Andersen Danish Task Force Activity Commander, right Polish Air Force Detachment Commander Lt Col Paweł Stajniak. Photo by Antanas Gedrimas.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

Search our content:

Address

HQ Allied Air Command
Flugplatz Ramstein
66877 Ramstein-Miesenbach
Germany

Media Operations

Public Affairs Office
Building/Gebäude 313
66877 Ramstein-Miesenbach
Germany