The Portuguese Air Force’s P-3C maritime patrol aircraft is set to be deployed at the Lithuanian Air Force Base (AFB) in Šiauliai until mid-August to support Nato’s air policing mission in the Baltic states.
With a total of 30 crew members, the aircraft was deployed to Lithuania in late June and has been used to patrol over the sea, monitor movement above the water and deliver additional data to fighter aircraft pilots.
The P-3C aircraft will be deployed as part of the Portuguese Air Force’s fourth rotation of the Nato air policing mission designed to help protect the Baltic airspace.
The Portuguese Air Force’s current shift includes up to 90 members, including pilots, technical and medical personnel, support teams, and other specialists deployed from the home base in Monte Real.
In addition, a Portuguese rotational force is currently deployed in Lithuania as part of the Nato-agreed assurance measures that help bolster the security of the Alliance’s Central and Eastern European allies.
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The Portuguese Air Force has provided its own military equipment, including the all-terrain vehicles, trucks and combat boats.
Furthermore, Portugal is contributing to the Nato Force Integration Unit’s activities and implementation of tasks in Lithuania by delegating officers to serve in the unit.
Since May, ten fighter jets deployed by Nato allies have been protecting the Baltic skies from the Lithuanian AFB in Šiauliai.
Heading the current 47th rotation of the Nato air policing mission, the Portuguese Air Force is operating four F-16 fighter aircraft from Šiauliai.