On April 7 first troops of the next rotation of the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission from the United Kingdom arrived to the Lithuanian Air Force Base in Šiauliai. In a short while British troops and their colleagues from Spain will take over the mission from the current Belgian Air Force Detachment operating from Šiauliai. The Spanish soldiers are scheduled to deploy around the middle of next week.
The Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom will fly four Eurofighter Typhoons to protect the Baltic airspace. The formal hand over-take over ceremony on April 30 will be minimised in order to be concerted with the efforts to protect against the COVID-19 epidemic.
All the troops arriving from abroad are subject to tight COVID-19 preventive measures. Paramedics of the Lithuanian Military Medical Service will have our allies tested and they will have to carry out a strict regimen for the 14 days in our country – they will be housed in separated quarters and will be taken to service location by special transport thus making them able to complete their tasks.
The British Royal Air Force will be guarding the Baltic skies for the 6th time: they carried out the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission from Šiauliai in 2004 and 2014, and from Amari Airbase in Estonia in 2015, 2016, and 2019.
Information credits: Lithuanian Air Force Base (archival photo)