The Danish aviators with four F-16 fighter-jets will replace their US colleagues who have completed their four-month rotation in Siauliai.
The formal changeover ceremony at the Lithuanian Air Force in Šiauliai on Jan. 8 to transfer the lead of the NATO air-policing mission will be attended by Lithuania’s Defence Vice-Minister Vytautas Umbrasas, Commander of NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) Major General Thierry Dupont, Commander of the Lithuanian Air Force Colonel Dainius Gužas and Šiauliai City Mayor Artūras Vicockas.
The mission is also conducted from the Amari base in Estonia where Danish airmen will be replaced by an Italian contingent with Eurofighter fighter-jets.
NATO has been conducting the air-policing mission in the Baltic states since Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia joined the Alliance in 2004, with various NATO member-states contributing their capabilities to the mission for four-month rotations.
Recent statements by Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner in the US presidential race, to the effect that NATO is a relic from the Cold War resonates with Russia‘s doctrine that the Alliance is obsolete, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said on Tuesday morning. […]
An international NATO operation called Open Spirit has begun in the territorial waters of Lithuania. During the operation, NATO and other countries’ ships will clean the bottom of the Baltic sea to ensure that no naval mines or other explosives remain there. […]