France Sends Rafale Combat Jets to Poland

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will visit Poland's Malbork air base April 29 to attend a ceremony marking the deployment of four Rafale combat jets there, and to meet with French airmen who will operate the aircraft over the next four months.

From the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, France has offered to send
E-3F Sentry airborne early warning aircraft (AWACS) and fighters in support of NATO air capabilities. Since early April, French AWACS have been conducting surveillance missions for the alliance in eastern Europe, mainly over Poland and Romania.

As of April 28, the four Rafale C jets will be stationed at Poland's 22nd tactical air base in Malbork as part of a dual mission: Training the Polish air force in air policing; and to be available at NATO's request for policing Baltic airspace.

The four planes will serve as a complement to aircraft already committed by NATO to the Air Baltic mission.


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