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Baltic Air Policing handed to RDAF F-16s

January 4, 2009 (by Asif Shamim) - Royal Danish Air Force F-16s have taken over the Baltic Air-policing mission from the USAF's 493rd FS after a handover ceremony at the Lithuanian Air Force Aviation Base in Siauliai on January 4th.

Having conducted the mission in 2004, this is going to be a second duty period fro the RDAF in Lithuania.

Ambassadors and Defence Attachés for both the US and Denmark in Lithuania, members of Lithuanian Air Force and Aviation Base, representatives of Siauliai town and other guests attend the exchange ceremony.

The Danish Air Contingent will guard Baltic airspace with the strength of 50 troops and 4 F-16 fighters. So far the following two F-16s have been identified #E-598 and #E-017.

NATO Baltic Air-policing mission has been an on going mission since 2004 and have been conducted by Belgian, Danish, British, Norwegian, Dutch, German, American and Polish air defence contingents for three months rotations.

Turkish, Spanish, Belgian and French forces fulfilled the commitment from spring 2006 on a four-month rotational basis. The succeeding contingent of Romanian Air Forces completed a 3-month duty period, Portuguese were deployed to the mission for one and half months, Norwegians, Polish, Germans and Americans – for three months each.