The Spanish Air Force detachment of four EF-18 fighter jets, ‘has assured the Baltic member nations of NATO’s commitment and readiness’, say the Alliance.
The EF-18, by the way, is the Spanish variant of the F-18 (the “E” standing for “España”, Spain).
“Since the very beginning, when our team arrived on 24 April, the Commander of Siauliai Air Base and all his personnel have made us feel at home,” said the Spanish Detachment Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Alberto Valero in a news release.
“In turn, we have maintained my country’s commitment to NATO of operating our four EF-18M fighters contributing to Baltic Air Policing. Almost 20 times we took to the skies for alert scrambles, executing nearly 700 flying hours on surveillance mission in the Baltic airspace.
For all the women and men of the my Vilkas Detachment, the Baltic Air Policing mission has been an excellent opportunity to work and perform in a multinational environment,” added Lieutenant Colonel Valero.
“Moreover, the conviction that a real intercept mission, launching our fighters within minutes, has its origin in the daily work, effort and high professionalism of almost 130 people. It is a great achievement on which all of my team will look with pride when the redeploy to Spain early next month,” he said.
The Baltic air-policing mission is a NATO air defence Quick Reaction Alert deployment aimed at guarding the airspace over the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.