The 48th rotation of detachments contributing to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission is imminent, say the Alliance.

From September 2018, the Belgian Air Force will take the lead over the mission at Šiauliai, Lithuania, while the German Air Force will augment out of Ämari, Estonia.

This is the seventh time the Belgian Air Force will deploy to the NATO mission with F-16 fighter jets, airmen and equipment. The detachment will come from both fighter bases at Florennes and Kleine Brogel and stay until the end of the year. In March 2004, Belgium was the first nation to be responsible for safeguarding the airspace of the three Baltic States since their accession to NATO.

The German Air Force is going to augment the mission from Ämari Air Base, Estonia with Eurofighter Typhoons and its personnel from 74th Tactical Air Force Wing at Neuburg, Germany. It will be the German Air Force’s fourth time as augmenting nation and their ninth contribution to the mission over all. For the second time after 2016 the German Air Force is going to execute the NATO mission for two rotations in a row, from September 2018 to April 2019.

The rotation will replace detachments of the Portuguese, Spanish and French Air Forces which have been conducting the mission since May 2018.

NATO say Air Policing is a 24/7 collective peacetime mission overseen by Allied Air Command and tactically controlled by two Combined Air Operations Centres at Uedem, Germany and Torrejon, Spain. For all Allies that don’t have their own Air Policing capability, like the three Baltic States, agreements exist to maintain a standard of airspace security ensuring the integrity and protection of Allies’ airspace.

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Slightly off topic, but if you get the chance visit the Belguim air force museum in Brussels. Well worth a visit and the cafe sells…beer.


Looks like a interesting museum… will keep that in mind. Cheers!!!


Its a good day trip, minutes from the city centre and the buildings also house a huge military museum (well worth a visit) and across the way another museum which contains cars. (but we didn’t have the time to visit) There’s a metro station at the bottom of the park.


I thought the Luftwaffe only had 4 operational Typhoons. I assume that more are back in rotation after maintenance periods.


two things – I didn’t think the F16 had an all weather capability, so doesn’t this leave a gap ? If the GAF are using Typhoons to fill that gap I thought that they only had 4 operational ?


4 is enough, perhaps they’ve deployed all their air worthy typhoons


You’d think they might need to keep a few in Germany in case of a hijack.

Paul T

HF- the European manufactured/operated F16’s have been pretty well updated over the years,cant say for sure but id have thought they are All-weather capable.


I’ll google it !


The entire Luftwaffe (4 aircraft) augmenting the mighty Belgian airforce, good grief Europe has never been more vulnerable than it is right now


So if the Luftwaffe are contributing four Typhoons, who’s guarding Germany?


The Red Baron ?