Italian Air Force completes record participation in NATO Baltic Air Policing mission

Italy NATO Baltic Air Policing
Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons conduct demo maneuvers over the Baltic.

The 15-month long mission of the Italian Air Force in the Baltics officially ended on December 1st with the Hand Over Take Over (HOTO) Ceremony between the Italian and Belgian Contingents at the Ämari Air Base, Estonia. The event marked the conclusion of Operation Baltic Eagle II which aimed to secure the skies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as part of the NATO Enhanced Air Policing Mission.

Task Force Air (TFA) Baltic Eagle II deployed to Estonia in May and ensured the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) service initially with the F-35As from the 32nd Wing - which marked the first participation of a fifth-gen fighter in the Baltic Air Policing mission - and, from 15 September, with Eurofighter Typhoons from 4th Wing, 36th Wing, 37th Wing and 51st Wing. Previously, Italian Eurofighters operated from the Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, from September 2020 to April 2021.

Italy NATO Baltic Air Policing

During the seven months of non-stop redeployment, the TFA Baltic Eagle II effectively ensured the defense of the airspace of the Baltic region, carrying out over 900 flight hours and more than thirty interceptions. Since 15 September, the Eurofighters have also conducted several joint missions with allied assets, both air and land, totaling more than 350 flight hours, to the benefit of the professional technical background of the personnel involved in the mission.

This intense flight activity was possible thanks to the excellent skills of the personnel in charge of aircraft efficiency and the effectiveness of the entire logistics-maintenance chain of the Italian Air Force, which guaranteed a very high rate of aircraft efficiency.

The massive operational and training activity conducted by TFA has once again demonstrated the reliability of the Eurofighter and the Service to operate effectively in sustained operations and for prolonged times, even far from national borders.

Italy NATO Baltic Air Policing

The Italian Air Force was the only air force to have taken part in all NATO Air Policing missions and to have ensured such a prolonged stay in the Region. It will continue its international commitment to defend the skies of the Atlantic Alliance under Operation Black Storm, in Romania, which will be headed by the 36th Wing with Eurofighter Typhoons.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source, Images: Italian Air Force, Italian Ministry of Defense

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