Poland and Spain take over NATO’s Baltic Air Policing

Poland and Spain are taking over NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission with Poland having already sent its aircraft to Šiauliai, Lithuania, and Spain deploying its aircraft to Ämari, Estonia.

Poland took the lead of the Balti Air Policing mission on 2 May, succeeding the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The Polish Air Force will carry out the mission with four F-16 fighter aircraft, NATO said in a statement.

The Spanish Air Force is deploying five F-18 fighter jets to Ämari Air Base in Estonia, replacing the German Air Force.

Poland has now led the mission six times, while Spain is also a regular contributor, NATO said.

Since 2004, seventeen allies have participated in 44 rotations of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing. The mission is a standing peacetime activity, helping ensure the integrity of the airspace over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The next scheduled rotation is foreseen for September.

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Cover: Spanish F-18 (the image is illustrative.)