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Lithuania escorted by NATO air policing aircraft in demonstration of NATO capability

Today, March 3, United States B-1B strategic bomber flew over Vilnius integrated with the NATO Air Policing capability – two Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons. It is a part of a U.S. training flight coordinated in advance with other NATO allies. The bomber task force mission integrated with the NATO Air Policing mission was coordinated by Lithuanian Armed Forces and U.S. Special Operations Command joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs).

“Our transatlantic partner United States has once again demonstrated with this deployment the NATO solidarity, unity, collective defence commitments to the allies, as well as the ability to respond to threats expeditiously as a means of deterrence,” Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas says. “And that has immense importance to Lithuania since the majority of our country residents view the United States as one of the key strategic defence partners of our state, and also are in favour of Lithuania’s membership in NATO.”

In his turn, U.S. Ambassador in Lithuania HE Robert Gilchrist underscores the steadfast U.S. commitment to the security of Lithuania and other NATO partners. The bomber task force flight demonstrates the unwavering NATO readiness and resolve to meet its commitments on both sides of the Atlantic.

“Today’s mission is a testament to our unbreakable commitment to our Lithuanian allies while at the same time supporting our collective goal of security in the region,” said Gen Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander.

The U.S. B-1B Lancer will carry out the coordinated flyovers of Estonia and Latvia integrated with Danish and Swedish air capabilities on March 3 too.

This is not the first time that the strategic bomber capabilities of the United States are conducting are flying training missions over the Baltic countries and other NATO allies. Last August U.S. strategic bombers and other NATO allies’ fighter aircraft flew over all 30 NATO state territories in Europe and North America.

The United States has flown more than 200 strategic bomber missions since 2018 with NATO allies, including Lithuanian when the missions were conducted over Lithuania.

Photo credits:  Sgt Spc 1st Class I. Budzeikaitė, A. Pliadis, Cpl M. Lysenko

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