The Spanish government announced on Monday that four Eurofighters from the 11th Wing of the Spanish Air Force will join the NATO air policing mission in the Baltic.
Spain is contributing 144 Spanish military personnel to the NATO ‘Baltic Air Policy’ mission, of which eight are pilots to form two crews per aircraft. The mission will begin on 1 January and last until 30 April.
According to the Spanish government, the aircraft will perform policing operations in their assigned airspace, which covers practically the entire north of Europe and the Baltic region in particular. To do so, they will complete air patrols and Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) missions against possible air threats that enter the airspace for which they are responsible without authorisation. They will fly under operational control from Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) based in the German town of Ramstein, the government said.
The Spanish government said the operation is being developed by various NATO countries on a rotating basis. For this 37th rotation period, the Spanish contingent will take over from the German contingent that has been deployed on this mission for the last four-month period of this year. Together with Spain, similar contingents will be deployed from Poland and Italy in Lithuania, and from Belgium in Poland.
This is the second time that Spain has taken part in the air policing operation in the Baltic region. The Spanish Air Force previously deployed four F-18s in Lithuania in 2006.
“By participating in this mission, Spain is contributing to international security and stability, and reaffirming its commitment to NATO and its Member States, while also providing a boost to the capabilities deployed by NATO,” the Spanish government said in a statement.