NATO Air Policing Mission, Operation Azotize 03042020 CREDIT RAF

RAF Begins Deploying For NATO Air Policing Mission

2 Mechanical Transport Squadron has begun delivering vital equipment to Lithuania as part of this summer’s Baltic Air Policing Mission.

NATO Air Policing Mission, Operation Azotize 03042020 CREDIT RAF

The Royal Air Force has begun deploying for its latest NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission.

Personnel from 2 Mechanical Transport Squadron have started delivering vital equipment to Lithuania ahead of the arrival of RAF jets in the summer.

The RAF Wittering-based squadron has been collecting the kit, as well as spare parts and airfield support vehicles, from bases across the country.

The items will then be shipped to the Baltic state, the RAF said. 

The mission, known as Operation Azotize, sees aircraft from different NATO nations take turns to protect the alliance's airspace. 

The RAF has previously deployed to Estonia, as well as Iceland as part of the alliance's Air Policing Mission there. 

5001 Squadron is also deploying to Lithuania where its personnel will act as the RAF's "ground engineering spearhead". 

They will build an environmentally controlled storage shelter and ready the existing aircraft shelters for the Typhoon jets.

An RAF Typhoon during a NATO Air Policing Mission in Iceland in 2019 (Picture: RAF).

Flight Sergeant Leon Moxam, 5001 Squadron Detachment Commander, said: “Deploying the team in advance is crucial to provide the engineering support for the aircraft to operate effectively.

"I will be leading the team through a rapid build phase, which will then allow another dedicated section of our qualified Electrical and Mechanical Technicians to support the aircraft.”

More than 400 tonnes of RAF equipment is being transported to Lithuania as part of the mission. 

Cover image: Gathering equipment for Operation Azotize (Picture: RAF).