The Polish Air Force stays in Lithuania after completing the rotation in a reinforcement role and will take over from Hungary to serve as the next leading rotation of the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic states. The Polish will be reinforced by the French Air and Space Force contingent which will for the first time protect the Baltic from Lithuania with France’s most powerful fighter aircraft.
The Polish will continue safeguarding the Baltic airspace with four F-16 and France is sending four Rafale fighter aircraft for the very first time to Lithuania. The French Air and Space Force will conduct its ninth rotation in the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission and the sixths of them flown out of Lithuania.
The hand over – take over NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission ceremony will take place at the Lithuanian Air Force Base in Šiauliai on December 1 with attendance of Vice Minister of National Defence Vilius Semeška, representatives of the Ministry of Defence of Hungary, representatives of the Allied Air Command, ambassadors, representatives is of Šiauliai City and other guests.
The outgoing Hungarian rotation conducted the mission with fourJAS-39 Grippen fighter aircraft and approx. 150 military personnel – pilots, technicians medical personnel, support , communications personnel, other specialists.
Over the course of the rotation the Allied military personnel had community engagement activities with Šiauliai residents, hosted student and pupil tours and attended city events, supported Šiauliai delayed development infant facility.
Related image: Dassault Rafale C fighter aircraft of the French Air and Space Force (credit: Karolis Kavolėlis)