NATO Allied Air Command on Friday announced that U.S. Air Force F-15C and F-15D Eagles arrived at Lask Air Base, Poland, to enhance NATO’s collective defense posture and support the NATO Air Policing mission.
U.S. F-15C and F-15D Eagles from the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, U.K. will work alongside the Polish and Danish F-16 aircraft already executing NATO’s Air Policing mission from Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania.
The details were given in a 10 February media release, to announce the extra fighters will bolster readiness and Allied deterrence and defense as Russia continues its military build-up in and around Ukraine.
The aircraft plan to work with other Allies throughout the region practicing air-to-air and air-to-ground training maneuvers in addition to the supporting the enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission.
“The deployment of U.S. F-15s to Poland elevates the collective defense capabilities on NATO’s Eastern flank and the enhanced Air Policing mission,” said General Jeff Harrigian, Commander Allied Air Command and Commander U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa. “The commitment of U.S. aircraft and Airmen demonstrates the solidarity of the Alliance, as we continue to work together in unity to execute our defensive mission.”
The U.S. fighters will work closely with Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem (CAOC UE) based in Germany. The CAOC is responsible for directing, tasking and coordinating air operations of allocated assets across Northern Europe in peacetime, crisis and conflict. The multinational staffs are in close contact with Control and Reporting Centres, National Air Policing Centres and dedicated Quick Reaction Alert bases routinely to execute NATO’s Air Policing mission.
Since 2014, the NATO Alliance has implemented Assurance Measures with the goal to secure regional stability and assure the Allies. One tool in this set of measures is the concept of eAP, which demonstrates NATO’s solidarity, collective resolve, and its ability to adapt and scale its defensive missions and deterrence posture in response to an evolving security situation.