Latvia will take over NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission
Latvia will gradually take over NATO Baltic Air Policing mission from 9 January while Ämari Air Base of Estonian Defence Forces undergoes reconstruction and infrastructure upgrades.
German troops and military aircraft will soon be relocated to Latvia for test flights, and Lielvārde Air Base of National Armed Forces of Latvia will welcome the nine-month rotation of Baltic Air Policing Mission on 1 March.
NATO Air Policing capability was initially established at Šiauliai Air Base (Lithuania) in 2004, while second Air Policing presence was established at Ämari Air Base (Estonia) in 2014. This will be the first mission rotation to Latvia.
Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are hosting Baltic Air Policing mission rotations since March of 2004 when all three countries joined NATO and became full-fledged members of the Alliance.
Since the start of full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, on top of regular duties, such as detection of Baltic airspace violations by Russian military aircraft, allied fighter planes assigned to Baltic Air Policing mission have also begun patrolling near the border between Baltic countries and Russia and Belarus.
After Russia launched a full-scale war against Ukraine in 2022, NATO decided to reinforce its airspace defence as well as the presence of troops and fighter jets.
Allied fighter jets will start flying over Latvia more frequently very soon. This will mean more regular sound disturbance and plane sightings. We highly appreciate the public support we have received as we continue to develop national defence capabilities. If you do not want to miss updates on how we do it, please follow us on social media pages of the Ministry of Defence, National Armed Forces and “Esmu karavīrs/Soldier’s Duty”.
MoD Military Public Affairs Department
Media Relations Section