News: Germany, Hungary and Italy support NATO Air Policing in the Baltic, 30-Jul.-2022

German, Hungarian and Italian fighter jets will conduct aerial patrols over the Baltic region as part of NATO’s Air Policing mission from Monday (August 1, 2022).

For the coming months, four Hungarian JAS-39 fighter jets and some eighty personnel will carry out the mission from Šiauliai air base in Lithuania, while four German fighter jets will take off from Ämari in Estonia. They will be joined by Italian Eurofighters based in Malbork, Poland.

“NATO Air Policing is a clear example of Alliance solidarity in action,” said NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu. “At a time when European security has been fundamentally altered by Russia’s war against Ukraine, NATO fighter jets remain ready around the clock to protect Allied airspace. We are always vigilant.

The new contingents replace the Belgian, French and Spanish units that have been patrolling the region since April. After several months in Šiauliai, Czech Air Force jets will continue their deployment throughout the summer. The Allies have taken turns guarding the skies over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania since joining NATO in 2004 because the three countries lack their own fighter jets. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, NATO has further reinforced air patrols in the eastern part of the Alliance, with additional aircraft.

As part of NATO’s air policing mission, fighter jets take to the skies when aircraft near Allied airspace do not follow proper piloting procedures, including filing a plane flight and communication with air traffic control. NATO rapid reaction aircraft are ready to take off in minutes to intercept any aircraft that may threaten Allied airspace.

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