The Portuguese Air Force have deployed four of its F-16M fighter jets to Malbork Air Base, Poland.
NATO say that this operational training detachment takes place under the umbrella of the NATO’s Assurance Measures for 2019.
“It will be contributing directly to the principle of collective defence and the spirit of solidarity that characterises the Alliance.
The Portuguese contingent will be deployed for two roughly months. The jets will then redeploy to their home base at Monte Real. After their deployment the pilots, support staff and fighters will return to ensure Air Policing missions over Portugal under the NATO-wide 24/7 peacetime operations.”
“The Portuguese Air Force stationed the F-16s for multi-role missions both Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground,” said the Portuguese detachment commander, Lieutenant Colonel Joao Rosa.
“This offers increased flexibility and provides excellent training opportunities together with the Host Nation and Allied Armed Forces stationed in the area. We will not only work with NATO countries, but also Partner forces from Sweden and Finland.”
The Portuguese jets will provide training support to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle Groups deployed to the region and conduct activities with NATO Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft.
Tactical control of this detachment is provided by the Combined Air Operations Centre in Uedem, Germany, say the Alliance.