Apcietina par degmaisījuma iemešanu Okupācijas muzejā



Latvija uzņem Baltijas gaisa telpas patrulēšanas misiju

Latvia hosting NATO's Baltic Air Police

On Saturday, March 2, Minister of Defense Andris Spruds welcomed the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission to Latvia in a ceremony at the Lielvārde air force base of the National Armed Forces.

For the next nine months, Latvia will be hosting NATO's Baltic Air Policing Mission while the host base in Ämari, Estonia is undergoing extensive renovations.

The other base of the mission, in Šiauliai, Lithuania, continues as normal.

About 200 German military personnel have arrived with their aircraft. A year ago, the Germans inspected the Lielvārde air force base. Although the base was in good shape, it was not quite up to their standards at the time. 

"We talked to the base commander and the people who work here, we told them what we needed and what we could provide. Every time we asked for something, they told us – yes, we can provide it! And look, after a year we have a full camp, perfectly provided with the things a soldier needs and a perfect opportunity," says the commander of the German rotation, Lt. Col. Sven Jakob.

At the ceremony, the Germans were also presented with Latvia's trademark - rye bread and honey - as a welcome gift.

Allies with suitable aircraft take turns deploying to air bases at Šiauliai and Ämari on a four-month rotational basis, ready to be launched by NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem, Germany if required. The Air Forces of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia contribute to the mission with host nation support in the form of air command and control infrastructure and personnel.

When the three Baltic States joined NATO in 2004, a NATO Air Policing capability was established at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania. In 2014, after Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea, a second Air Policing presence was established at Ämari Air Base, Estonia under NATO’s Assurance Measures to its Eastern Allies.

As Russia continues its war in Ukraine, allied fighter jets stationed in the Baltic States not only respond to the illegal entry of Russian military aircraft into the airspace of the Baltic States, but also patrol the airspace near the Russian-Belarusian border.

In response to Russia's all-out invasion of Ukraine, NATO has strengthened airspace protection, and increased the number of soldiers and planes on the mission since last March.

A a result of Latvia's new role hosting planes, allied fighters will be seen and heard more often in Latvian airspace, and the public should take this into account, the Ministry of Defense said.

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