F-15s to Conduct Airspace Intrusion Drill Today
Military exercises, increasingly widespread lately, will come to local airspace today as NATO's Baltic Air Policing fighters practice their core skills.
The planes will simulate a response to an airspace violation and escorting aircraft out of the area, uudised.err.ee reported.
The number of fighters under the currently American-led rotating command of the mission was recently increased to 10. They are based in Šiauliai, Lithuania.
No time or precise operating area was disclosed for today's exercise, which will also see Swedish aircraft participating. Sweden's borders were buzzed on March 29 last year by two Russian Tupolevs simulating an attack on Stockholm, helping shift public sentiment toward NATO in the neutral country.
Edvards Mažeikis, the commander of the Lithuanian Air Force, said the efficient response to the request for more fighter planes from the U.S., U.K., Denmark and Germany was reassuring. "This shows how seriously the security situation is seen - no compromises. We obviously feel secure."
In related news, Ukraine gave NATO permission to hold war games on its territory. In recent weeks, Russia has been holding exercises along various borders, including Finland's, as well as building up what NATO says is a non-training-related action along eastern Ukraine's frontier.