Denmark is set to deploy four of its F-16 fighter jets to Lithuania in support of Nato’s enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission in the Baltic States.
The latest move comes within two months after the last Nato Air Policing deployment concluded in Lithuania.
The aircraft and 70 members are going to operate out of Šiauliai Air Base and will be controlled by Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) Uedem.
According to Nato statement, the jets will join Polish and Belgian F-16s in the region and fly sorties securing the airspace above Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.
The jets will provide Nato with an eAP capability to carry out the mission and ensure ‘deterrence and defence’ on Nato’s north-eastern flank.
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Nato deputy spokesperson Piers Cazalet said: “We welcome the decision by Denmark to offer additional fighter jets to Nato’s air policing mission in the Baltic States.
“This is a substantial contribution to our collective defence and a strong display of Denmark’s significant contributions to Alliance security.
“As Denmark has made clear, this deployment comes in the context of the current crisis caused by Russia’s continuing military build-up in and near Ukraine. We always remain vigilant.”
The Baltic Air Policing mission originally started with one fighter detachment in Lithuania in 2004 and is overseen by Allied Air Command (AAC) in Ramstein, Germany.