From the AP: NATO said Tuesday that its air forces will conduct an exercise this month over the Baltic states, which have been alarmed by the fast-improving ties between the alliance and neighboring Russia.

The training March 17-20 over Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will involve French Mirage 2000 and Polish F-16 fighters and U.S. aerial tankers, said Lt. Col. Thomas Dillschneider, spokesman for the Allied Air Headquarters in Ramstein, Germany.

The mission – the latest in a series designed for fighter units patrolling the area – is mean to "demonstrate solidarity with NATO’s Baltic members," Dillschneider said.  (photo: Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence)