Military Capabilities

US responds to Ukraine crisis with military support for Poland and Baltic states

04 March 2014
The USAF currently has four F-15C Eagle fighters providing air defence duties under the auspices of NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission. Hagel has announced that this contribution is to be increased in light of the crisis in Ukraine. Source: US Air Force

The United States is to increase its military co-operation with Poland and the Baltic states in response to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said on 5 March.

Speaking at the Senate Armed Services committee in Washington, DC, Hagel said that the United States would expand its military support for Poland, while increasing its participation in the NATO-led Baltic Air Policing mission in a "show of support" for those alliance members closest to Russia.

Hagel did not provide details as to how this increased support might manifest itself, but the US Air Force (USAF) had previously agreed to base Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters and C-130 Hercules Transport aircraft in Poland on a rotating basis, and the two countries also envisage hosting the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptors in Poland by the end of 2018 as part of NATO's wider European missile defence shield.

The Baltic Air Policing mission sees NATO member countries provide air defence duties for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania over our-month rotations from the Lithuanian Air Force base in Siauliai. This mission, which has been going on for a decade and which was declared 'indefinite' by NATO in February 2012, has included contributions from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey, the UK, and the United States.

Coincidentally, the USAF is currently performing the mission with a flight of four Boeing F-15C Eagle fighters. During its rotations, the United States typically deploys four to six F-15Cs from the 48th Fighter Wing based at RAF Lakenheath in the UK. It is not clear from Hagel's comments whether the increased US involvement will see more aircraft deployed, or whether the same number will be deployed more often.

(290 words)
By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and our Terms of Use of this site.


  • AS 9 mm silent assault rifle

    Development The AS (Aвтомат Sпециальный Vал) 9 mm silent assault rifle, also referred to as the Val (Shaft) can trace its origins back to the time when Gary Powers of the US Air Force was

  • Fabrica De Arme Cugir 5.45 mm assault rifles

    Development When the Romanian small arms manufacturer Fabrica De Arme Cugir S.A. began production of 5.45 mm assault rifles the standard 7.62 mm calibre AKM was already in production as the Model 1963. Consequently this was used as the basis for a modified rifle to fire the new 5.45 mm cartridge,

  • FN F2000 5.56 mm assault rifle

    Development The first information regarding the FN Herstal 5.56 mm F2000 Modular Assault Weapon System (MAWS) was released in March 2001, following a concept and development period dating back to 1995. During this initial stage investigations were made into future requirements regarding assault

  • IWI X95 5.56 mm assault rifle

    Development The IWI X95 is a further development of the 5.56 mm Micro-Tavor assault rifle. It was originally developed for use special forces requiring a weapon of rifle calibre but with reduced length. The model name of Micro-Tavor was dropped in mid-2008 and the gun was re-launched as the

  • Pindad SS rifle series

    Development The SS (Senapan Serbu) series of assault rifles are licensed copies of the Belgian FN FNC rifle (see separate entry), manufactured in Indonesia by PT Pindad. Production of the original SS1 series has ceased and has been replaced by the extensively redesigned SS2 series. The SS2 series


Industry Links

IHS Jane's is not responsible for the content within or linking from Industry Links pages.