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Hungary will lead NATO's Baltic Air Policing next month
By
Allen Cone


A U.S. Air Force ‪‎B-52‬ Stratofortress leads a formation of aircraft, including two Polish air force ‪‎F-16‬ Fighting Falcons, four U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons, two German ‪‎Eurofighter‬ ‎Typhoons‬ and four ‪‎Swedish‬ ‎Gripens‬ over the Baltic Sea, on June 9, 2016. Photo by Senior Airman Erin Babis/U.S. Air Force | License Photo


April 18 (UPI) -- Hungary will lead NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission beginning next month at Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania with assistance by Britain and Spain.
This will be the 50th Baltic Air Policing deployment, NATO said in a news release Wednesday.

NATO member countries have taken turns safeguarding Baltic airspace since Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined the alliance in 2004. Other participants are United States, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Turkey.

The Baltic nations were under Soviet Union rule from from the end of World War II in 1945 until independence in 1991.

Hungary will use the JAS-39 Gripen fighter aircraft during the mission. Spain will augment the mission with F-18s at Šiauliai, and the United Kingdom will deploy Eurofighter aircraft to Amari Air Base in Estonia.

In 2015, Hungary also deployed their Gripen fighters and an air force detachment to lead the mission.

Spain has deployed six times under the mission, including twice as lead nation in 2006 and 2016, and three times as augmenting nation at Amari in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Britain was the third nation to lead the mission in 2004 and have since augmented once in Siauliai in 2014 and twice in Amari in 2015 and 2016.

"The two additional detachments deployed to the region in the next four months demonstrate collective resolve and deter any threat against NATO allies," NATO said in a news release.

NATO Baltic Air Policing is a peacetime defensive mission that joins NATO Allies together to protect each other, "setting a spirit of solidarity within the alliance."

In 2014, NATO authorized additional fighter detachments to deploy to the region in response to Russia's "illegal actions" in Ukraine.

During the 2014 Crimean crisis, the U.S. Air Force deployed six F-15C Eagle fighter jets from Lakenheath air base in eastern England to the Lithuanian Air Force Base near Šiauliai. Poland hosts 10 U.S Air Force personnel to support rotations of the jets for joint training with the Polish air force.

Allied Air Command, with its Combined Air Operations Center at Uedem, Germany, can employ more flexibility providing an air policing capability to safeguard NATO airspace in the Baltic Region, NATO said.

Hungary will lead NATO's Baltic Air Policing next month
 

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NATO ‘Worried’ about Turkey’s Plans to Deploy S-400
06 May, 2019
[IMG]

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. (Reuters)



NATO expressed on Monday its concern over Turkey’s plan to deploy a Russian missile defense system.

Speaking from Ankara, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the consequences of the deployment of the S-400 system are worrying, as Washington has made clear it would impose sanctions.

NATO would want to avoid conditions where allies impose sanctions on one another, he added after talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Last week, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Turkey was not distancing itself from the NATO alliance by buying the defense system.

Turkey and the United States, NATO allies, have been at odds over Ankara's move to buy the S-400, which Washington says are not compatible with NATO systems and may threaten the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets, of which Turkey is a prospective buyer and partner in production, Reuters reported.


https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1710491/nato-‘worried’-about-turkey’s-plans-deploy-s-400
 

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U.S., NATO allies start Formidable Shield exercise in Scotland
By Allen Cone
MAY 7, 2019

(UPI) -- Nine nations, led by the U.S. 6th Fleet, on Tuesday began Formidable Shield, a live-fire integrated air and missile defense exercise in Scotland that lasts through May 19.

The biennial Formidable Shield is designed "to assure allies, deter adversaries and demonstrate our commitment to collective defense of the alliance," according to a U.S. Navy 6th Fleet news release.

Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Britain and the United States are contributing 13 ships, more than 10 aircraft and approximately 3,300 personnel to the exercise at Britain's Ministry of Defense's Hebrides Missile Range, near Scotland's Western Isles. Ships are docked at Faslane Naval Base in Scotland.

Belgium and Germany also will support the exercise with staff officers embarked with Task Group IAMD.

"Exercise Formidable Shield demonstrates the United States and our allied maritime partners high end war fighting capability in integrated air and missile defense," said Vice Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, commander of the U.S. 6th Fleet and commander of Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO.

"This significant investment of resources, time, and personnel ensures we are ready to deploy and operate anywhere, anytime, to defend the alliance and deter aggression."

She said the maritime operations provide a "tremendous opportunity to enhance our interoperability and test our capabilities as we collectively work to maintain a safe, secure and prosperous European region."

During the exercise, the nations' forces will share common tactical pictures and situational awareness, as well as conduct NATO-level mission planning and engagement coordination, and exercise force-level, pre-planned responses with capabilities and limitations.

"Exercise Formidable Shield 2019 will once again help us refine our air and missile defense capabilities with our partners and allies by training together and demonstrating our ability to ensure the cooperative security and collective defense of the NATO Alliance," Capt. Shanti Sethi, commander of Task Group IAMD for Formidable Shield, and commander of U.S. 6th Fleet's Task Force 64.

Among the U.S. ships participating are the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Carney and USS Roosevelt, as well as the USNS Medgar Evers, a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship.

Canada sent the HMCS St. John's, a Halifax-class frigate, to participate in missile firing. The frigate will fire its Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles during the training, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

Orther units participating include the Italian frigate Carlo Bergamini, Royal Navy destroyer Defender, French frigate Bretagne, Dutch frigate De Ruyter and Norwegian frigate Otto Sverdrup, according to Naval Today.

The 2017 exercise covered 932 miles west of the Scottish Hebrides, and the 434 miles from the south of Ireland to the southern tip of Iceland, according to the Thales Group, a French multinational company and military contractor.

Shipping traffic is forbidden from traveling through part of the exercise area. Several hundred passenger and cargo flights have been cordoned from the area.

 

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NATO strengthens its strike group on the border of Moldova

Sunday, May 12, 2019 1:00:07 PM




NATO is increasing its military presence on the border with Moldova. Hundreds of soldiers and F-16 aircraft the Fort Worth airbase in Texas were deployed to Romania "to strengthen the defense in the Eastern zone of NATO" and prevent "possible Russian aggression."

According to Romanian authorities, the presence of the US air force guarantees a successful deterrent to any possible aggression.

" We have our ‘friendly’ neighbor on the east side, that sometimes puts a lot of pressure, not only on our country, but on the entire eastern flank of NATO," said the representative of the Romanian armed forces, major Cosmin Tanase.

Two hundred fifty American soldiers and 12 F-16C fighters have been relocated to the Romanian Air Force 71st Air Basen near Campia Turzii. American partners also plan to invest $ 40 million in the construction of a new air base in the Romanian territory.

The United States European Command (EUCOM) announced that in the summer of 2019 the US will deploy a THAAD missile defense system in Romania at the request of NATO.


 

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Hungarian and British fighters intercept two Russian warplanes over the Baltics

May 15, 2019


Hungarian Gripen fighters deployed at the Siauliai airfield in Lithuania on May 14, for the second time in the last 24 hours, were scrambled over the Baltic Sea to intercept Russian aicraft as reported by the Hungarian Ministry of Defense. According to the report, British Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from the Estonia's Amari Air Base flew to their aid, reports Radio Liberty.

According to the information of the Hungarian Ministry of Defense, these fighters flew to intercept Russian military aircraft Il-22 and Su-27 which were carrying out flight maneuvers in international airspace over the Baltic Sea without having established any radio contact with the air traffic control services of the Baltic countries.

The Hungarian and British fighters patrolling this air sector at an altitude of 8,600 meters carried out a maneuver to intercept the Russian military aircraft and returned to their air bases in Lithuania and Estonia.

Russia has not confirmed or denied what happened in the air.

On May 13, for the first time, Hungarian fighters from the Joint NATO Air Defense Center in Germany were scrambled to intercept Russian An-26 aircraft violating Baltic airspace.

About one hundred Hungarian soldiers including a flight unit of four Gripen JAS-39 type fighters, on May 1, for the second time since 2015, are carrying out a 4-month patrol to protect Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian airspace. The Hungarian military works in shifts to strengthen the Air Defense units of Spain and the United Kingdom operating under the NATO command from an airfield in the Lithuanian city of Siauliai.

 

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