The Royal Danish Air Force Detachment has taken over the Nato air policing mission in the Baltic states.
The Danish air contingent has replaced the US Air Force (USAF) contingent for the fifth rotation in the air policing mission.
The current rotation formed by personnel and equipment of the Danish Air Force’s Fighter Wing Skrydstrup landed in Lithuania on 5 January.
National Defence vice-minister Vytautas Umbrasas said: “The Nato air policing mission in the Baltic states, along with the Nato-enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Groups, is a vital factor of deterrence and defence measures in the entire region.”
As part of the mission, four US fighter jets are deployed in each Lithuanian and Estonian mission bases.
In September last year, seven US fighter aircraft were deployed to Šiauliai ahead of the Russian-Belarusian Exercise Zapad.
The participation of the US in the Nato Mission in the Baltic states demonstrates Nato’s commitment to maintaining the security and stability of the region along with ensuring the integrity of the Nato borders.
The outgoing USAF Detachment for the fifth rotation was deployed with four F-15 Eagle fighter jets to carry out the US mission.
The previous rotations were carried out in 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2014.
To date, 17 Nato allies have contributed since the international organisation started sending air policing mission rotations to protect the Baltic airspace after Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia joined it in March 2004.
Since 2004, the US detachment carried out the 45th rotation of the mission.