Official Provides Details on U
Official Provides Details on
U.S. Augmentation in Baltics
American Forces Press Service.
Washington D.C. – (AFPS)
– March 5, 2014 – Following Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s announcement today
during Senate testimony that the United States is augmenting its participation
in NATO's air policing mission in the Baltics and will increase joint training
through its aviation detachment in Poland, a defense official provided
In a statement provided on background, the official said the United States
currently provides four F-15s to fill NATO's January-through-April air policing
rotation in the Baltics.
For the past 10 years, the official said, allies have provided on-call
aircraft on a rotational basis to help in identifying and responding to
violations of Baltic airspace. In addition to the United States, Great Britain,
France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Portugal,
Belgium, Poland, Romania, Turkey and Czech Republic all contributed rotations
over time since the mission's inception, the official added.
This week, the United States will send six additional F-15s and one KC-135 to
augment the mission, the official said. These aircraft -- currently based at
Lakenheath in the United Kingdom -- will be deployed to Siauliai Air Base in
This action comes at the request of the United States’ Baltic allies and
“further demonstrates our commitment to NATO security,” the official said.
Poland hosts 10 U.S Air Force personnel to support rotations of U.S. F-16s
and C-130s for joint training with the Polish air force, the official said. The
aviation detachment, or AVDET, is a practical way to strengthen interoperability
with a key NATO ally, the official added, and represents the first continuous
presence of a U.S. military unit on Polish soil.
The AVDET has supported four training rotations for U.S. aircraft since late
2012. During his trip to Poland earlier this year, the official noted, Hagel
visited with U.S. and Polish airmen from the AVDET alongside Polish Defense
Minister Tomasz Siemoniak.
The detachment's presence in Poland also makes it possible to host multiple
allied Air Force elements and serve as a regional hub for air training and
multinational exercises, the official said, and the Defense Department is
consulting with Polish allies on increasing activities associated with the
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