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.
Estonian retired Brigadier General Urmas Roosimägi rejects the assertion that Estonia could be overrun by the Russian forces in three hours – a claim made by the British columnist Edward Lucas in his article for the Politico magazine. […]