Norwegian F-16s protect Baltic States
14 Jan 2005
On last Wednesday 12 January 2005, the Norwegian Air Force took over the air defence of the Baltic States from the British Royal Air Force. Arriving in pairs on Monday and Wednesday, four Norwegian F-16 fighters took over from four Tornado F.3 fighters. To support the detachment 50 Norwegian military and civilian personnel will deploy to Zokniai air base in Lithuania as well.
Since the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia became NATO allies, detachments from other NATO partners have been rotating every three months to secure the nations air space. The three countries do not have their own air defence capabilities required to carry out NATO's routine air policing mission. The four-aircraft detachment from Belgium, United Kingdom and now Norway will be followed by the Netherlands in three months.
- Washington Post