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Hungarian Gripen aircraft continue NATO mission in Baltic Sea region.

| 2022

On July 29, in an official ceremony at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, the responsibility of NATO's Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission was handed over from Spain and Czech Republic, to Hungary who will be leading the 60th rotation in the next four months.

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Hungarian Gipen aircraft continue NATO mission in Baltic Sea region   A Hungarian Gripen fighter aircraft at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania (Picture source: Lithuanian Air Force)

With their rotation completed, the Spanish Air Force has now supported NATO's BAP mission five times, two times as lead nation operating out of Šiauliai and three times as augmenting nation operating out of Ämari, Estonia.

As Hungarian Gripen fighters are now responsible for safeguarding the skies under a NATO banner, the five Czech Gripen aircraft and service staff currently deployed to Šiauliai will remain in Šiauliai as an augmenting nation to conduct Air Patrols in support of NATO's Air Shielding along the eastern flank.

"In light of the worst military aggression in Europe for decades, this ceremony is of great importance for two reasons – it showcases NATO's strength and cohesion and it demonstrates impressively that Allies continue to stand by each other to provide meaningful deterrence. Only by being resolute in the face of aggressive actions will we ensure lasting security and stability for Europe," said Brigadier General David Morpurgo, Deputy Commander, Deployable Air Command and Control Centre, Poggio Renatico, Italy.

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