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 Jul 11 2022

NATO fighters demonstrate commitment to protect and defend Allies

RAMSTEIN, Germany – The Spanish and French fighter detachments currently executing NATO's Baltic Air Policing were busy last week honing their skills and safeguarding Allied airspace.

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.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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A Spanish Air Force F-18 fighter jet during aerial training drills off the Lithuanian coast on July 7. Photo by Hesja.
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French Mirage 2000-5 conducted two intercepts of Russian military aircraft over international waters off the Estonian coast - picture show an identification and escort of a Russian military airliner. Photo by French Air and Space Force.
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A Spanish Air Force F-18 twoship exercising - viewed from a Lithuanian 
C-27 transport aircraft over the Baltic Sea. Photo by Hesja.

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