Poles Patrol Baltic Airspace


MiG-29s are patrolling the skies of the three Baltic states, not for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact. The fighters are from the Polish air force's 41st Tactical Squadron, whose home base is Malbork.


Photo courtesy of Lithuanian armed forces

It is the fourth time Polish MiG-29s have been deployed to Siauliai, Lithuania, to conduct NATO's Baltic air policing mission. Previous rotations were conducted in January-March 2006, March-June 2008, and May-August 2010. Unlike the previous three-month rotations, this latest rotation will last four months.

The Polish MiG-29s took over from F-4F Phantom IIs of the Luftwaffe's Jagdgeschwader (Fighter Squadron) 71 "Richthofen", which had been conducting the mission since the beginning of January. During last week's rotation ceremony, the two aircraft types did a joint flyby, perhaps the last time it will be possible to see the former adversaries in the air together.

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