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Published: 3 january 2013 17:26

Danish aviators take over NATO's Baltic air-policing mission

Prancūzų „Mirage 2000“ ir danų F-16 ore virš Zoknių
Andriaus Vaitkevičiaus / 15min nuotr. / .
Danish Air Force pilots with four fighter jets F-16 took over the NATO-sanctioned air-policing mission of the Baltic skies in Šiauliai, northern Lithuania, from Czech aviators, the Defense Ministry announced on Thursday.

"Denmark has for a long time been an important partner for Lithuania and one of the most frequent participants of the NATO air-policing mission," Vaidotas Urbelis, political director at the Defense Ministry, said at the official rotation ceremony at the Lithuanian Air Force Air Base.

The Danish Air Force pilots will patrol the air space of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia for the fourth time. The mission of the Czech airmen with their jets JAS-39C Gripen lasted from August.

As the Baltic states do not possess equipment needed for an independent air space protection, NATO Allies have been deploying their national capacities on a rotational basis to conduct the Baltic air-policing mission from Šiauliai Air Base for four months.

So far, the Baltic air space has been protected by air personnel of Belgium, Denmark, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Spain, the United States of America, Poland, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Romania, Turkey, and Germany.

Aircraft deployed on the Baltic air-policing mission maintain readiness to conduct scramble and take deterrent or other actions against transgressors of the Baltic air space.

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