NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

29 Apr. 2014

Allies enhance NATO air-policing duties in Baltic States, Poland, Romania

Fighter jets from Poland, the United Kingdom, Denmark and France take over NATO air policing duties over the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on Thursday (1 May 2014) as part of enhanced collective defence measures agreed to by Allies earlier this month.

Canadian jets left Canada on Tuesday (29 April) for deployment to Romania as part of the NATO efforts to reassure Allies in Central and Eastern Europe.

A ceremony is planned on Wednesday ( 30 April 2014) at the Siauliai airbase in Lithuania when the United States will hand over responsibility for the mission to Poland, the United Kingdom Denmark and France.

The four countries will officially take over the task on Thursday (1 May 2014). The United States led the mission from 1 January to 30 April 2014. Poland will lead the mission and provide four MiG-29 aircraft. They will be backed up by four British Typhoon jets. The Polish and British aircraft will operate out of Siauliai airbase in Lithuania.

Four Danish F-16 jets will start patrols from Amari airbase in neighboring Estonia. In addition, four French Rafale jets will operate out of the Malbork airbase in Poland. The four Allies will conduct air policing duties for a four month period.

The six Canadian CF-18 fighter aircraft will be based in Romania as part of the NATO efforts to reassure Allies in Central and Eastern Europe.

For the past ten years, NATO member states have taken turns sending fighter aircraft to police the airspace of the Baltic States as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania do not have fighter jets of their own. NATO’s air-policing mission protects the safety and integrity of Alliance airspace on a 24/7 basis and Allies take up the patrols for a four-month rotation. Allies have traditionally deployed four fighter jets for their rotation, however, NATO increased its presence with additional jets after the outbreak of the crisis in Ukraine.

Last updated: 30-Apr-2014 13:25

High resolution photos

Allies enhance NATO air-policing duties in Baltic States, Poland, Romania 28. Apr. 2014 Four Royal Air Force Typhoon aircraft deployed today to take part in the NATO Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. 
Allies enhance NATO air-policing duties in Baltic States, Poland, Romania 29. Apr. 2014 Canadian Armed Forces members from 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron, Bagotville embark a CC-150 Polaris tanker headed to Romania on April 29, 2014 in Bagotville, Quebec as part of Canada’s contribution to NATO’s reassurance measures in order to promote security and stability in Eastern and Central Europe. 
Allies enhance NATO air-policing duties in Baltic States, Poland, Romania 29. Apr. 2014 Six CF-18 Hornets from 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron take off from Bagotville, Quebec on April 29, 2014 to fly to Romania as part of Canada's contribution to NATO'€™s reassurance measures in order to promote security and stability in Eastern and Central Europe. 
Allies enhance NATO air-policing duties in Baltic States, Poland, Romania 30. Apr. 2014 US detachment commander hands over the ceremonial key to the Polish and British detachment Commanders as they take-over responsibility for patrolling the Baltic airspace - Siauliai airbase 30 Apr 
Allies enhance NATO air-policing duties in Baltic States, Poland, Romania 23. Apr. 2014 Maj. Barak Amundson and 1st Lt. Matthew Scott, 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron pilots, fly over Lithuania during a training mission with the Lithuanian air force April 23, 2014. The 48th Air Expeditionary Group has been conducting the Baltic Air Policing mission here since January and will be handing over the mission to the Polish air force at the beginning of May. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dana J. Butler/Released)