F-16 mission in the Baltic states

5 September 2014 - 16 December 2014
Military personnel

Tensions emerged between Ukraine and Russia at the end of 2013. One of the causes was an association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union. The crisis that followed in Ukraine prompted NATO to deploy more military assets in Eastern Europe.

28 allies acted jointly in the Baltic Air Policing mission in a show of solidarity. This temporary reinforcement was intended to set eastern NATO allies that felt threatened by Russia at ease.

Guarding airspace

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the 3 Baltic states, do not have fighter aircraft. Other NATO member countries therefore guard Baltic airspace. The allies deploy fighter aircraft on a rotational basis to perform this Baltic Air Policing (BAP) task. The Netherlands guarded Baltic airspace for 3 months in 2005. The deployment involved 4 F-16s and approximately 100 service members operating from Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania.

This is a provisional description of the mission provided by the Ministry of Defence’s media centre. The Netherlands Institute of Military History (NIMH) will publish a final version at a later date.