The Czech Air Force will take over policing the skies over Nato nations — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania since they don’t own supersonic fighters.

Under a Nato 24/7 quick reaction alert, two Czech Gripen fighters will be on standby to protect their airspaces and offer immediate assistance to distressed aircraft in case of intrusion.

The Czech 211th tactical squadron from Cáslav Air Force Base replaced a Danish unit in May 2009 and policing will continue till end of August 2009.

The nations have been under Nato protection since 2004, and this is the 20th such mission and could continue to 2011.