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German contingent took over Baltic Air-policing mission


On June 30 NATO Baltic Air-policing mission was transferred from Polish Air Force soldiers to German contingent. The ceremony took place at the Lithuanian Air Force Aviation Base in Siauliai.


This is the second time German forces deploy soldiers for the Baltic Air-policing mission. They patrolled Baltic airspace from June to September in 2005 for the first time.


Rotation ceremony was attended by the Vice Minster of National Defence Antanas Valys, Deputy Ambassador of Poland for Lithuania Ewa Anna Figel, Deputy Ambassador of Germany for Lithuania Dirk Roland Haupt, representatives of German, Polish, Estonian, and Latvian air forces, leadership of Lithuanian Air Force and Aviation Base, representatives of Siauliai city and district, and other guests.


For the upcoming three months Baltic airspace will be guarded by about 120 German soldiers and four fighters F-4F ”Phantom".


Speeches given in the ceremony focused on importance and need for the Baltic Air-policing mission. They were followed by awards of the Polish AF members who distinguished themselves fulfilling air-policing mission. The main accent of the ceremony was raising flag of Germany and handing over symbolic key to Baltic airspace. Lt. Col. Thorsten Denkmann, Commander of the German Military Continguent, was given the key by Lt. Col. Mariusz Biajgo, Commander of the Polish Military Contingent. Ceremony was closed by take-off of two fighters of the Polish Air Police RF Unit that headed back to the place of permanent dislocation in Malbork (Poland).


Information of AF Aviation Base

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