A contingent of Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft and personnel arrived at Siauliai Airbase in Lithuania on 2 January to assume the lead for NATO's Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission.
Four F-16s and more than 120 personnel from the Leeuwarden and Vokel bases in the Netherlands arrived in Lithuania to relieve a contingent of French Air Force Dassault Mirage 2000s from 5 January. The Dutch F-16s will be supported in their mission by four German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons that are based at Amari Airbase in Estonia, and which are being extended for a second four-month rotation.
Some 43 rotations have now been conducted since the NATO mission was launched in 2004. This will be the third time that the RNLAF has participated in the NATO BAP mission to protect the airspaces of the former Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, having previously undertaken the role in 2005 and 2014.
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