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Luftwaffe deploys Eurofighter jets to Latvia for NATO air policing mission

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

Five German Air Force Eurofighter jets touched down at Lielvarde Air Base in Latvia on February 26, 2024 where they will support NATO’s enhanced Air Policing for the Baltic States in the coming months.

 

“We are looking forward to this mission; for the first time, NATO is using Lielvarde for the Baltic Air Policing mission and we will provide the interceptors for the mission,” said Lieutenant Colonel Swen Jacob, German detachment commander.

“Now that the jets have arrived, our detachment is ready for the final inspection of the set-up at Lielvarde by NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) from Uedem. From Friday on, we will be available for mission execution. Closely integrated with the Host Nation Latvia, our Belgian and French colleagues deployed in Lithuania and the air controllers at the CAOC and the regional Control and Reporting Centres, we will demonstrate NATO’s commitment to collective deterrence and defence,” he added.

 

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“Together with Latvia’s outstanding supportive team at Lielvarde, and by contributions from Estonia, the members of an advance party of our German Air Force have prepared the base for the arrival of the jets, in harsh Baltic winter conditions – it was a truly multinational build-up,” explained Lieutenant Colonel Jacob.

Due to runway works at Ämari Air Base, Estonia, the NATO mission temporarily moves to Latvia and from March 1 on, the German Eurofighters will be ready to take off to safeguard the skies in the Baltic Sea region. They will augment NATO’s Air Policing capability Belgian F-16s and French Mirage 2000-5s provide at Šiauliai, Lithuania.

Besides the Eurofighters, the German contribution to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing includes a deployable Control and Reporting Centre that has been set up at Ämari, Estonia. This unit is integrated into the Air Surveillance and Control network in the region.

 

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Since Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined the Alliance – NATO Allies have collectively ensure the territorial integrity of the Baltic member Nations. For two decades, the Baltic Air Policing mission and all Allies contributing to that mission have sent a strong message of NATO commitment, cohesion and solidarity.

 

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