Between April 11 and 12, 2022, NATO air forces from Belgium, Czechia, France, Germany, Spain, and Turkey as well as their partners from Sweden and Finland honed their air policing skills over the Baltic Sea.
Pilots were faced with situations faced by NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission on a regular basis. These scenarios included the interception and escort of a slow-moving aircraft, a search and rescue operation, air-to-air combat training, and air-to-air refueling.
“Allied fighters train consistently throughout the year with Allies and Partners to maintain the highest levels of readiness and performance,” said Lieutenant General Pascal Delerce, Deputy Commander Allied Air Command. “Exercises such as Ramstein Alloy are the foundation of our Air Policing mission, which is a part of the 360-degree deterrence of the Euro-Atlantic Area.”
The Baltic Air Policing mission started in 2004 when the Baltic States joined NATO. It is one of the main missions of NATO air forces, which protects Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian airspaces from incursions, as these countries have no airborne capability of their own.
In the buildup to the war in Ukraine, NATO increased its air presence in eastern Europe with the deployment of additional fighters, observation aircraft, and bombers.