The Portuguese Air Force F-16 NATO detachment has now redeployed to its home base at Monte Real.
“It was a very rewarding experience that enhanced our interoperability with Allied and Partner nations while at the same time demonstrating the Alliance’s abilities and resolve to deter aggression from any threat,” said the Detachment Commander Lieutenant Colonel Luis Silva, who oversaw the mission in April and the redeployment phase in a press release issued by NATO.
“This mission has allowed the Portuguese Air Force and my team to train our deployment procedures and expeditionary capability in order to be ready to deliver combat air power where and when needed,” he added.
The four Portuguese Air Force F-16 aircraft and a team of approx. 70 military specialists including aircrew, maintenance, logistics, force protection and medical personnel arrived in early March.
“During the eight weeks they executed more than 300 flying hours providing training and exercise activity under NATO’s Assurance Measures. Most of the almost 200 sorties were in direct support of several NATO units stationed in the region.”
The Alliance say that the Portuguese F-16 fighter aircraft provided air-to-ground training and exercise support among others for the Multinational Battle Groups in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.
Air-to-air training was conducted with NATO Baltic Air Policing and enhanced Air Policing nations Poland and Germany, and Partner air units such as the Swedish JAS-39 Gripen.
Training activities were also executed with United States Air Forces in Europe F-15 fighter aircraft during their temporary deployment to Poland according to NATO.