NATO Allies practise close air support in Lithuania

  • 18 May. 2020 -
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  • Last updated: 19 May. 2020 11:59

Troops from NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Lithuania are training together with British and Spanish pilots from the Alliance’s Baltic Air Policing mission. The training, which began on Monday (11 May 2020) and wraps up this week, provides an opportunity to improve close air support and air crew procedures and skills.

Norwegian soldiers, deployed with NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup Lithuania, conducted JTAC training with UK Royal Air Force Typhoons deployed to NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission on 13 May 2020. JTAC, or joint terminal attack controllers, coordinate the delivery of air support on the battlefield. Image courtesy of UK Royal Air Force.

© UK MoD Crown Copyright 2020.

It involves the battlegroup’s German and Norwegian Joint Terminal Attack Controllers – specialised soldiers who guide fighter aircraft to targets on the ground – conducting air-to-ground support missions with British Eurofighter Typhoons and Spanish F-18s.

The British and Spanish air force contingents operate from Šiauliai Air Base and help guard the skies over the Baltic region as part of NATO’s Air Policing mission. NATO’s battlegroup in Lithuania is composed of around 1,200 personnel from Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Norway. The battlegroup is part of the biggest reinforcement of the Alliance’s collective defence in a generation.