Nato troops take part in training with British and Spanish pilots

19 May 2020 (Last Updated May 19th, 2020 15:34)

Nato troops from enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Lithuania are engaged in training with the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and Spanish Air Force from the Alliance’s Baltic Air Policing mission.

Nato troops take part in training with British and Spanish pilots
Nato troops from enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Lithuania are training with British and Spanish pilots from the Alliance’s Baltic Air Policing mission. Credit: © UK MoD Crown Copyright 2020.

Nato troops from enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Lithuania are engaged in training with the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and Spanish Air Force from the Alliance’s Baltic Air Policing mission.

The joint training commenced earlier this month and is scheduled to conclude later this week.

It provides an opportunity to improve close air support and aircrew procedures, as well as skills of all the participating airforces.

The participating battlegroup includes German and Norwegian Joint Terminal Attack Controllers with specialised soldiers guiding fighter aircraft to targets on the ground.

They will also conduct air-to-ground support missions with British Eurofighter Typhoons and Spanish F-18s.

As part of Nato’s Air Policing Mission, the British and Spanish airforce contingents will guard the skies over the Baltic region, operating from Šiauliai Air Force Base (AFB) in Lithuania.

The Nato battlegroup in Lithuania includes around 1,200 personnel from Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Norway.

The Nato Air Policing mission commenced after the Belgium Air Force handed over the Baltic Air Policing Mission to the Spanish Air Force.

The RAF also joined and was expected to replace the already departed Portuguese Air Force.

In March this year, more than 600 personnel of the UK RAF passed a major capability test conducted by Nato.

The Capeval evaluation test was conducted at RAF Leeming to evaluate the operational capability of the service to support the organisation under challenging conditions.