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  • 8 May 2017

    On 2 May a ceremony to mark the handing over of the NATO police mission patrolling the airspace of the Baltic states took place in Siauliai.

    The handing over of the NATO police mission from the Dutch Air Force to the Polish Air Force was marked by a ceremony which was attended by Gen. D. Malinowski, commander of the Air Operations Center. He underlined Poland's commitment to security in the region, as evidenced by this 7th rotation of Poles within NATO's Baltic Air Policing Mission, participation in numerous exercises in the region as well as the deployment of Polish troops in Latvia and Romania under the Enhanced Forward Presence – format agreed at the Warsaw NATO summit.

     

     

    Photo: The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Vilnius

     

     

    The ceremony was also attended by the Lithuanian Deputy Defense Minister Vytautas Umbrasas, Royal Netherlands Air Force Commander Gen. Dennis Luyt and guests from NATO – Brig. Gen. Roberto Di Marco and Chief of NFIU in Lithuania, Col. Jakob Sogard Larsen. The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Vilnius was represented by Charge d’ Affaires M. Ślebioda and military attaché Col. Mirosław Wójcik.

     

     

    Photo: A. Gedrimas

     

     

    The Polish Military Contingent, Orlik, will perform air surveillance functions over Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia until August 31st. This is the seventh Orlik mission as part of NATO's Air Policing mission.

    The PMC Orlik squadron includes 140 soldiers and military personnel and four F-16 falcons, which will be the main equipment, together with technical and logistical support. Poland carried out its previous missions with MiG-29 Fulcum fighters but this rotation will fly F-16 Fighting Falcons.

    The 31st Tactical Air Base located in Krzesiny (31BLT) is a fundamental part of the contingent. The first Orlik military contingent took part in the Air Policing mission in 2006. It was created by the 1st Tactical Aviation Squadron and 23rd Aircraft Base. During subsequent changes in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 the main force of the Orlik  contingent was provided by units from Malbork and Minsk Mazowieckie.

     

    Based on: polska-zbrojna.pl

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