RAF Typhoons Deploy To Lithuania For NATO Mission

The Baltic Air Policing mission will see the Royal Air Force help protect NATO airspace in the region.

RAF Typhoons have left their base in Scotland to take part in a NATO mission in Lithuania.

The aircraft, from 6 Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth, will work alongside Spanish Air Force F-18s at Šiauliai Air Base in northern Lithuania.

The Baltic Air Policing mission, also known as Operation Azotize, will last over the summer, with 150 RAF personnel also being deployed. 

It will see RAF jets and personnel help protect NATO airspace in the region.

Group Captain Chris Layden, Commanding Officer at RAF Lossiemouth, told Forces News: "The Baltic Air Policing [mission] is about Quick Reaction Alert [QRA].

"It's similar to what the crews do here 24/7, 365 days a year.

"So, we will have armed aircraft, at almost instant readiness, to launch and deal with any threats to NATO airspace."

The deployment is the sixth time the UK has taken part in the mission.

Typhoon pilots from 6 Squadron prepare to fly to Lithuania (Picture: RAF).

Wing Commander Matt D’Aubyn, Officer Commanding of 6 Squadron, said: "Baltic Air Policing is a really important role for us as the Typhoon Force and the military in general.

"It won't be lost on anybody, that under the current COVID-19 situation, this is still an essential task for our country and so we have continued to prepare and deploy as we always would do." 

The RAF said all necessary measures have been taken to ensure COVID-19 precautions are followed during the deployment.

Earlier this month, personnel from 2 Mechanical Transport Squadron began delivering vital equipment to Lithuania ahead of the deployment.