Luftwaffe ends Baltic Air-policing mission
Today, shifts of air contingents performing the NATO's Baltic Air-policing mission changed at a ceremony held at the Air Base of the Lithuanian Air Force (Šiauliai). The German Air Contingent was replaced by a French unit with four Mirage-2000 fighters.
The French unit has taken up the responsibility for the mission for a second time (after 2007). The current shift comprises around 150 military, the majority of which serve with the French Air Force BA 103 Cambrai Air Base (north of the country).
NATO member states began sending their air assets and crews to the Baltic Air-policing mission in 2004 when Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia entered NATO. This year a decision was adopted by NATO to prolong the mission to the end of 2014.