Saturday, April 20, 2024

Germany deploys fighter jets to Latvia

Five German Air Force Eurofighter jets landed at Lielvarde Air Base in Latvia on February 26, 2024, as part of support for NATO’s Air Policing in the Baltic States in the upcoming months.

This deployment signifies a historic moment as NATO employs Lielvarde Air Base for the Baltic Air Policing mission for the first time, with Germany providing the interceptors for this critical task.

Lieutenant Colonel Swen Jacob, the German detachment commander, expressed anticipation for the mission’s initiation, emphasizing the significance of NATO utilizing Lielvarde for the Baltic Air Policing mission.


He further highlighted the multinational collaboration in preparing the base, acknowledging the outstanding support from Latvia’s team and contributions from Estonia in challenging Baltic winter conditions.

“Together with Latvia’s outstanding supportive team at Lielvarde, and by contributions from Estonia, the members of an advance party of our German Air Force have prepared the base for the arrival of the jets, in harsh Baltic winter conditions – it was a truly multinational build-up,,” added Lieutenant Colonel Jacob.

Due to ongoing runway works at Ämari Air Base in Estonia, the NATO mission temporarily relocates to Latvia. Starting March 1, the German Eurofighters will be operational, safeguarding the skies in the Baltic Sea region. They will augment NATO’s Air Policing capability alongside Belgian F-16s and French Mirage 2000-5s stationed at Šiauliai, Lithuania.

In addition to the Eurofighters, Germany contributes a deployable Control and Reporting Centre, established at Ämari, Estonia, integrated into the Air Surveillance and Control network in the region.

Since the Baltic nations joined NATO, collective efforts have ensured the territorial integrity of the Baltic member nations. The Baltic Air Policing mission, ongoing for two decades, sends a robust message of NATO commitment, cohesion, and solidarity through the contributions of all Allies involved.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.