Hungarian JAS-39 fighter aircraft will return to Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, for the third time after 2019 and 2015 to lead NATO's collective mission. While at their home base at Kecskemét, the fighters ensure safe skies above Hungary under NATO's southern Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Torrejón, Spain, they will now also fly missions in the Baltics under the northern CAOC at Uedem, Germany.
Germany is getting ready to deploy their Eurofighters from Laage to Ämari Air Base, Estonia, for the ninth time. After five lead deployments to Lithuania, the German Air Force is one of the Allies who fly their jets regularly in the region.
Last, but not least, Italian Eurofighters will deploy to Malbork, Poland, for the first time and augment the Allied Air Policing mission in the region for the eighth time. The Italian Air Force has also been flying their Eurofighter and F-35 fighter aircraft safeguarding skies at home, in the Western Balkans or in Iceland under the NATO banner.
While NATO's Baltic Air Policing at Šiauliai started with the accession of the Baltic Allies in 2004, the enhanced Air Policing mission at Ämari and Malbork began in 2014 as an Allied reaction to Russia's invasion of Crimea. On top of the Air Policing mission, the Allies have been shielding the eastern flank with additional air assets against potential aggression assuring Allies and improving readiness.