RAMSTEIN, Germany - On May 10, General Jeff Harrigian, Commander Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) visited NATO detachments currently deployed at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, conducting Allied missions securing the skies in the region.
I commend all of them for their outstanding team effort here, providing AIRCOM and our Combined Air Operations Centre in Germany an incredibly responsive force enabling vigilance and operational flexibility in this forward location
During his visit to NATO's main operating base for Baltic Air Policing at Šiauliai in Lithuania, General Jeff Harrigian, met with representatives from Host Nation Lithuania, the in-place fighter detachments of Spain and the Czech Republic and the deployed US Marine Corps radar unit.
"Four Allies are expertly executing NATO enhanced Vigilance Activities here in Siauliai," said General Harrigian. "Spain's F-18s are leading NATO's Baltic Air Policing, the Czech Republic's JAS-39 Gripens are augmenting the mission, and the US Marine Corps' Air Operation Center is increasing our situational awareness with their deployed radar – all fantastically hosted by the Lithuanian Air Force," he added.
The Czech and Spanish fighter detachments at Šiauliai Air Base in front of their JAS-39 Gripen (left) and F-18 (right) fighter jets. Photo by Antanas Gedrimas.
General Jeff Harrigian (left) receiving an introduction to the Spanish F-18 cockpit by Spanish Detachment Commander Lieutenant Colonel David Soto Martinez (right) .
Photo by Antans Gedrimas.
The Czech Detachment Commander Michal Danek (left) and General Jeff Harrigian (right) in front of the JAS-39 Gripen aircraft.
Photo by Antanas Gedrimas.
From left to right: Lithuanian Air Force Commander, Colonel Dainius Guzas, Commander AIRCOM, General Jeff Harrigian, and Commanding General 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Major General Michael Cederholm at the G/ATOR site in Lithuania.
Photo by Antanas Gedrimas.
"I commend all of them for their outstanding team effort here, providing AIRCOM and our Combined Air Operations Center at Uedem, Germany an incredibly responsive force enabling vigilance and operational flexibility in this forward location. Together, with all the other Allies supporting our NATO Alliance along the eastern flank, they send a clear and strong message of our cohesion, readiness, and commitment to collective defense," Harrigian concluded.
The two fighter detachments from Spain and the Czech Republic arrived here in April 2022 and are currently manning NATO's Baltic Air Policing that started in Lithuania in 2004 providing interceptors for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania policing and securing the skies in an Alliance context. The US Marine Corps AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) deployed here at the end of April delivering multi-domain command and control, air defence, air traffic control, radar surveillance, and communications support. The G/ATOR allows Marines to conduct air surveillance and air domain awareness in support of NATO operations. These assets are firmly integrated with NATO's collective security posture that has been enhanced to protect and defend if necessary the eastern Allies.