Troops of the Hungarian Air Forces with their JAS-39 Gripen fighter-jets are coming to Lithuania on Thursday for their 1st shift in NATO's Baltic air-policing mission, the Lithuanian Defence Ministry said.
NATO Air Policing mission in the Baltic states
© DELFI (M.Bajarūno nuotr.)

At the Aviation Base in Šiauliai, northern Lithuania, they will replace Norwegian and Italian counterparts as of September 1

A farewell ceremony for the Italian troops will be held at the base on Thursday after their eight months of service.

From September, the Baltic air-policing mission will be conducted by eight fighter-jets, half of the number of the past years, however, twice the number of the jets that were stationed in Lithuania before the Ukrainian crisis.

Contingents of two countries were lately deployed in Šiauliai, in addition to one more in Estonia and Poland each.

According to the press release, consultations are underway with the Allies on additional forces in Šiauliai.

NATO Allies started sending their troops and fighter-jets to guard the Baltic air space after the three countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia joined the Alliance in March of 2004.

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