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Turkish air force rejoins NATO Baltic Air Policing after 15 years

Turkish F-16s to conduct missions over Baltic Sea

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Kacper Bakuła

According to the NATO Air Command, Turkish F-16s have landed at the 22nd Air Base in Malbork in Northern Poland and will conduct patrol missions over the Baltic Sea and Poland during the next few months. The four planes come from the NATO Bandirma base, which is located in North Turkey. Hercules C-130 transport planes arrived with the F-16s.

The NATO Allied Air Command press office also stated that the Turkish planes will station in Malbork for ten weeks, along with a staff of 80 persons. This was the Turkish crew’s first landing in Malbork but the second time since 2006 that they will participate in Baltic Air Policing. In 2006, they were stationed in the Lithuanian base in Siauliai.

Turkey, alongside Italy and Spain, is the third participant in the current shift of the Baltic Air Policing program. The program was expanded in 2014 following Russian aggression in Ukraine. The program’s goal is to conduct joint patrol and training operations as well as to deter enemy aircraft in the Baltic Sea region.

Italy started its shift at the end of April by sending 4 F-35A planes. They are currently stationed in Estonia in the Amari base. Spain has prepared seven Eurofighter Typhoons, which are stationed in the Siauliai base in Lithuania.

Simultaneously, a different NATO Air Policing mission is being conducted over the Black Sea and is supported by German and British Eurofighters.

Title image: One of the Turkish F16s landing in Malbork, Poland, source: TT/NATO-Air-Command.