U.S. Air Force assumes command of NATO Baltic air policing mission

A flight of U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles and Polish MiG-29 Fulcrums fly over Lithuania Air Force Air Base.

From defpro.com:  The 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, deployed from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, assumed command of the NATO Baltic air policing mission Sept. 1 from the Polish air force at Lithuania Air Force Air Base.

For the next four months, the squadron, comprising approximately 125 people, is responsible for ensuring the air sovereignty of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

This is the third time since 2004 the U.S. Air Force has accomplished this mission and the second time the 493rd EFS has had responsibility.

"The (493rd has) already established a legacy of professionalism in the Baltics, and we look forward to building upon it," said Anne Derse, U.S. ambassador to Lithuania. "As all warriors know, the surest way to maintain peace is to exercise constant vigilance and rigorously prepare to meet all potential threats. The Baltic air policing mission is just one of many facets of NATO’s vigilance and preparation. This is a mission we take seriously and take on with pride."  (photo: defpro.com)

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