Baltic Air Policing
|Baltic Air Policing|
Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon (bottom) escorts Russian Air Force Su-27 Flanker (top) over the Baltic in June 2014
Within the Alliance, preserving airspace integrity is conducted as a collective task jointly and collectively using fighter aircraft for Air Policing. Air policing is a purely defensive mission. Since the 1970s, NATO has established a comprehensive system of air surveillance and airspace management means, as well as Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) assets for intercepts (QRA(I)) provided by its member nations. By means of radar sites, remote data transmission, Control and Reporting Centres (CRCs) and Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOCs) the Alliance ensures constant surveillance and control of its assigned airspace 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. NATO exploits these facilities to react within seconds to air traffic incidents in the Allies’ airspace. This structure of weapon systems, control centres and procedures is referred to as the NATO Integrated Air Defence System (NATINADS). NATINADS has been and remains one cornerstone of Alliance solidarity and cohesion. The responsible Allied Air Headquarters are at Izmir, Turkey and Ramstein, Germany. The dividing line is the Alps. The Headquarters Allied Air Command Ramstein’s air area of responsibility is divided in two Air Policing Areas (APAs):
- APA 1 is controlled by the CAOC Finderup, Denmark (deactivated in 2013);
- APA 2 is controlled by the CAOC Uedem, Germany.
NATO members without their own Air Policing assets are assisted by other NATO members. Luxembourg is covered by interceptors from Belgium, while Slovenia and Albania are covered by Italian and Greek aircraft.
Since March 2004, when the Baltic States joined NATO, the 24/7 task of policing the airspace of the Baltic States was conducted on a three-month rotation from Lithuania's First Air Force Base in Zokniai/Šiauliai International Airport, near the northern city of Šiauliai, and starting 2014 at the Ämari Air Base in Harju County, Estonia. Starting with the Turkish deployment, rotations changed to a four-month basis. Usual deployments consist of four fighter aircraft with between 50 and 100 support personnel.
To ensure Air Policing performance is conducted in a safe and professional way, adequate training was and still is required, as NATO member nations deploy their assets to Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, on a rotational basis. To standardize training across nations, Headquarters Allied Air Command Ramstein introduced a series of training events formerly called Baltic Region Training Events, now referred to as Ramstein Alloy  to capitalize on experienced aircrews deployed to Šiauliai and to offer superior training for Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian air forces and control facilities. The three host nations contributed €2.2 million in 2011 to cover the deployment expenses and are supposed to contribute €3.5 million yearly by 2015. In 2012, the Alliance allocated €7 million for Šiauliai airfield modernisation from the Security Investment Programme.
During the 2014 Crimean crisis, the U.S. Air Force deployed six F-15C Eagle fighter jets from US-run Lakenheath air base in eastern England to the Lithuanian Air Force Base near Šiauliai. These aircraft will augment the present mission comprising four U.S. F-15C Eagle aircraft. The U.S. heightened its NATO presence to increase the strength of the Baltic Air Policing mission. Another two U.S. KC-135 aerial refuelling aircraft brought aircraft service personnel. In May 2014, NATO established its second air base in Estonia's Ämari near Tallinn, beginning with a Danish deployment. Additionally in May 2014, Polish Air Force units at Malbork Air Base were reinforced by the French Air Force 
According to a former staff of the National Defence University of Finland the Baltic air bases are untenable in a war scenario as they lack hardened aircraft shelters which makes them vulnerable to attack. Also Russia operates long-range SAMs in Kaliningrad, Pskov and Leningrad Oblast which would severely hamper or stop air operations from the area.
- 30 August 2011 - A French Mirage collided with Lithuanian trainer jet L-39, which dived into a marsh. Both pilots ejected.
- 29 April 2013 - A Danish F-16 landed in Tallinn after it suffered a bird strike, which caused minor engine damage.
- 9 October 2015 - A German Eurofighter's right external tank dropped "while taxiing to the start position" on the taxiway in Ämari airbase, Estonia. The necessary torque of the tightening bolts "was not present".
- 8 August 2018 - A Spanish Eurofighter accidentally launched an AMRAAM missile without a target while on patrol over Estonia. The missile was not confirmed to have self-destructed as designed.
French Mirage 2000s during a Baltic Air Policing deployment in 2010.
- CAOC Finderup 1993-2013 Archived July 22, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
- "L'A.M. assicura lo spazio aereo albanese" (in Italian). Retrieved 20 September 2011.
L’Aeronautica Militare assicura già dal 2007, con i propri velivoli, l’"Air Policing" dello spazio aereo sloveno.
- Baltic Region Training Event.
- A Mission in the Interest of the Whole Alliance. PISM Bulletin No 88 (421), September 21, 2012
- Hungary will join NATO's Air Policing mission in Baltics.
- Italy’s Typhoon fighter jets secure airspace of Iceland. 10 June 2013
- Benitez, Jorge (22 April 2013). "Russian jets practiced attacks on Sweden". NATO Source. Atlantic Council. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- US sends six fighters for NATO Baltics patrols: Lithuania Archived March 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- 6 F-15s, KC-135 to augment NATO mission in Baltics
- The United States augment its participation in NATO's air policing mission in the Baltics
- "NATO opens an air base in Estonia". estonianworld.com. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- NATO's tripled Baltic Air Policing Mission begins by Nicholas de Larrinaga Jane's Defence Weekly 29 April 2014
- [ http://aco.nato.int/alliance-solidarity-in-the-baltic-region-continues.aspx Alliance Solidarity in the Baltic Region Continues] Allied Command Operations 26 Aug 2014
- Gestrin-Hagner, Maria (2015-01-20). "(sv) Försvarsexpert: Flygövning fredstida spel för gallerierna". Hufvudstadsbladet. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
- NATO Air - policing mission, Lithuanian Armed Forces
- Belgium Baltic Air Policing
- Air-police functions in the Baltic States to be taken over by Danish personnel
- Hansard, 14/12/04
- Norwegian Ministry of Defence:Norwegian fighter aircraft on a temporary NATO mission in the baltic
- Air policing mission in the Baltic States to be taken over by Dutch troops
- Germans takes over Baltic NATO mission
- 23rd EFS protects Baltic skies
- Zakończenie misji AIR POLICING przez Siły Powietrzne RP. mon.gov.pl
- Turkish Military Personnel to Take Over Execution of NATO Air Policing Mission Over the Baltic States.
- Spain to carry out NATO patrol in Baltic countries
- Estonian Review, Volume 17 No 13 Mar28-Apr3, 2007, p.3: French Take over Baltic Air Policing Mission Archived 2008-02-27 at the Wayback Machine.
- Romania Performs Air Police Service In The Baltic Countries.
- Portuguese F-16s to defend Baltic skies
- A participação dos Jaguares na missão Baltics Air Policing 2007 (Portuguese Air Force 301 Squadron) (in Portuguese)
- Oro policijos misiją Baltijos valstybėse iš portugalų perima norvegai (in Lithuanian)
- Gazeta.pl: Prezydent podpisał postanowienie o użyciu wojska w dwóch zagranicznych operacjach (in Polish)
- U.S. Forces begin air policing mission in Baltics Archived 2008-10-14 at the Wayback Machine.
- Air Contingent of the Czech Republic took over the NATO Baltic Air-policing mission
- German Air Force to conduct once more NATO Air Policing over Baltic States
- Air Baltic 2010 – France takes over Archived 2012-05-25 at Archive.is
- Dalyvauti oro policijos misijoje atvyksta Lenkijos naikintuvai Archived 2012-01-11 at the Wayback Machine. (in Lithuanian)
- US Air contingent take over Baltic Air-policing mission
- Richthofengeschwader sichert baltischen Luftraum (in German)
- Šiauliuose leisis Prancūzijos naikintuvai (in Lithuanian)
- NATO oro policijos misiją Baltijos šalyse perims Danijos kariai (in Lithuanian)
- Šiauliuose nusileido Vokietijos karinių oro pajėgų naikintuvai (in Lithuanian)
- Orlik 4 na posterunku, sp.mil.pl Archived 2012-10-18 at the Wayback Machine. (in Polish)
- Czech Gripen Baltic Airspace Policing Encore
- Baltijos erdvėje patruliuos Danijos karinių oro pajėgų naikintuvai (in Lithuanian)
- NATO oro policijos misijoje danus keičia Prancūzijos karinių oro pajėgų kariai (in Lithuanian)
- Nicholas Fiorenza (17 June 2013). "Belgium To Take Over Baltic Air Policing". Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- Belgian Air Force (2 July 2013). "Baltic Air Policing" (in Dutch). Retrieved 3 August 2013.
- AIRheads/MB (26 July 2013). "Belgian F-16s take on Baltic Air Policing". Retrieved 3 August 2013.
- U.S. air contingent took over NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission from Belgian troops
- US to add six F-15 jet fighters to Nato Baltic patrols, Lithuania says
- Lotnicza Polska (in Polish)
- UK Sends Typhoon Fighters to Baltic States To Guard Against Russia
- "RAF Typhoons Wow Lithuanian Crowds". www.raf.mod.uk. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
- Wammen: Danske F-16 klar til Baltic Air Policing (in Danish)
- France to send fighter jets to Baltics for NATO Air Policing
- UPDATE: France sends Rafale fighters to Poland
- Canadian fighter jets to help patrol Baltic skies
- Ukraine-Krise: Nato verstärkt militärische Präsenz im Osten Europas (in German)
- NATO to triple Baltic air patrol from next month
- Dutch Ministry of Defence (3 September 2014). "Baltic Air Policing" (in Dutch). Retrieved 4 September 2014.
- Italian Typhoons committed to watch for Russian aircraft in Baltics as NATO air policing mission expands
- NATO airmen report growing Russian activity in Baltic airspace
- Rotation of NATO BAP Mission Gets Underway. 22 December 2014.
- Nicholas Fiorenza (13 October 2014). "Belgium to deploy F-16 fighter jets to Poland". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- "The Royal Norwegian Air Force will, starting May and through August, guard Baltic air space". Archived from the original on 14 April 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- Gareth Jennings (22 April 2015). "Norway to deploy F-16s for Baltic air policing". Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- "Norway takes the lead in NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission". Retrieved 30 April 2015.
- Admin, News (2015-02-07). "Lossiemouth jets set for deployment to protect Baltic states". inside>Moray News. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
- NATO’s Baltic Air Policing down to eight aircraft.
- Gareth Jennings (4 August 2015). "NATO to scale back enhanced Baltic Air Policing Mission". Retrieved 16 August 2015.
- "Belgium to send F-16 fighter jets to protect airspace over Baltics". www.unian.info. Retrieved 2015-12-20.
- "El Ejército del Aire enviará de enero a mayo de 2016 cuatro Eurofighter a la misión". www.defensa.com. Retrieved 2015-12-20.
- "UK jets and warship to bolster Baltic security". Ministry of Defence. 3 April 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
- "RAF Jets Fly on Baltic Policing Mission". www.raf.mod.uk. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
- Allies ready to continue NATO’s Baltic Air Policing
- French fighters “Mirage 2000” will land in Šiauliai
- En vol à bord d’un Mirage 2000 assurant la protection du ciel des pays Baltes (in French)
- After four months of duty the French Air Force detachment will be succeeded by the Royal Netherlands Air Force detachment with four Fighting Falcon F-16 fighter aircraft.
- Augmentation of the Air Policing Mission deployed in Amari Air Base (Estonia), a German air contingent with Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets, will stay for the second consecutive rotation.
- Poland new lead nation in NATO Baltic Air Policing.
- Lithuanian L-39 crashes after collision with French Mirage
- Danish jets make unscheduled landing after bird collision in Estonian airspace.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to NATO Baltic air-policing mission.|
- Ministry of National Defence Republic of Lithuania NATO Air - policing mission
- Estonian Ministry of Defence
- Estonian Air Force
- Headquarters Allied Air Command Ramstein - NATO Air Policing
- NATO AIRCOM Exercises