While on July 7, the Spanish F-18 fighter jets took off from Šiauliai, Lithuania, to conduct aerial drills with a Lithuania C-27 transport aircraft over western Lithuania. During interoperability training the fighters practiced intercepting the slow-moving transport aircraft and related procedures. They also activated their flares, which protect aircraft by diverting infrared threats like heat-seeking air-to-air or surface-to-air missiles to lock onto their heat signatures instead of the aircraft engine.
The French Air and Space Force Mirage 2000-5 fighters, meanwhile, scrambled on two occasions from Ämari, Estonia last week to
meet and escort Russian military aircraft flying near NATO airspace above international waters. This routine mission is conducted regularly when unidentified aircraft tracks appear on Allied radars and the Combined Air Operations Centre a Uedem, Germany, decides to order fighter jets to launch and establish the facts in an airborne interception.
Together with the Czech Air Force JAS-39 Gripen detachment also stationed at Šiauliai, the Spanish and French fighter detachments collectively provide NATO's capability to polices the skies above the Baltic Allies and to safeguard the regional airspace 24/7.