Troops of the Hungarian Air Forces are taking over NATO's Baltic air-policing mission for the first time, with an official contingent changeover ceremony involving Lithuanian and the Hungarian defence ministers planned at the Lithuanian Aviation Base in Šiauliai on Monday.
Antano Gedrimo nuotr.

Hungary has deployed four JAS-39 Gripen fighter-jets and over 100 troops in Šiauliai.

This is Hungary's first deployment to the Baltic NATO air policing mission to protect NATO's air-space above Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. German troops operating four Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets from Amari, Estonia, will provide back-up to the Hungarian air contingent.

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

Immediately after the Russian annexation of Crimea in spring 2014, NATO Allies strengthened protection of the Baltic air-space, decisions to strengthen land and maritime security followed.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia cooperatively render comprehensive host nation support and provide logistical support to all the deployed air capabilities for the total of up to annual 15 million euros.

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