Sep 9, 2014
The Netherlands F-16s join Baltic Air Policing Mission
Five F-16 of the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) will operate alongside aircraft from Canada, Germany, and Portugal.
The RNLAF will operate out of Malbork in northern Poland, relieving four French Air Force Rafale fighters that had been stationed there on the previous rotation. Previously, the alliance had suggested that these Rafales might be replaced by four Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) F-16s once their air policing duties at Amari Airbase in Estonia were complete at the end of August.
With the Dutch contribution, the current Baltic Air Policing Mission now comprises six Portuguese Air Force (Força Aérea Portuguesa - FAP) F-16s and four Boeing F/A-18 (CF-18/CF-188) Hornets of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) flying out of Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania, six German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons at Amari Airbase, and six RNLAF F-16s in Poland.
This current rotation is set to continue through to the new year. NATO has not disclosed for how long the augmented Baltic Air Policing Mission will continue, saying only that "decisions regarding whether to continue with an enhanced air policing presence in the region will be made in due time".