Poland to take over NATO Baltic Air Policing at Ämari in January ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Polish F-16s. Photo is illustrative.
Polish F-16s. Photo is illustrative. Source: Filip Modrzejewski/nato.int

Approximately 140 personnel and Polish Air Force F-16 fighter aircraft will deploy to Ämari Air Base in January 2020 taking over from the Czech Royal Airforce.

This is the ninth time Poland will participate in the allied mission safeguarding the airspace of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. At Ämari, the Polish F-16 fighters will be stationed temporarily to demonstrate the collective resolve of the Allies and demonstrating NATO is postured for deterrence and defence.

The Polish F-16 fighters come from 10 Squadron nicknamed "Dragons" at 32nd Tactical Air Base at Lask south-west of Lodz.

"For the third time we are supporting this important NATO peacetime mission with our F-16 fighter aircraft," said detachment commander Lieutenant Colonel Krzysztof Duda. "I am looking forward to leading my team and contributing to the Alliance mission of protecting the skies along the Baltic Sea shores," he added.

NATO Air Policing is a peacetime mission collectively carried out across all European allies.

When Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined NATO in 2004 allies started taking turns deploying their fighter assets to Siauliai Air Base, Lithuania to safeguard the airspace of the new Allies.

Since 2014, when NATO established enhanced Air Policing also in the Baltics in response to Russia's illegal activities in the Crimean, an additional fighter detachment has been deployed to Ämari Air Base, Estonia on a rotational basis.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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