Dutch air force to monitor Baltic airspace in 2017

Dutch F-16 fighter aircraft will be deployed to police the airspace of the 3 Baltic countries in the first quarter of 2017. This was announced by Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert this morning.

The ambassadors to The Hague of the three Baltic States have just been to visit Mrs Hennis-Plasschaert at the Ministry of Defence. She then officially announced that the Netherlands will be taking on the Baltic Air Policing mission from January to April. It is the second time the Netherlands takes on this NATO mission.

2 Dutch F-16s during a QRA flight.

Rotation

When the 3 Baltic countries joined NATO in 2004, it was agreed that they would not purchase any fighter aircraft. Other NATO member states would then take over the air policing tasks on a rotational basis. The Netherlands first took its turn from April to June 2005, deploying 4 F-16s and around 100 military personnel. That air force detachment operated from Šiauliai military airfield in Lithuania.