Turkish Air Force Protects Baltic Skies

Demonstrating NATO`s Visibility and Solidarity in the BAP Mission

Date: Issue 110 - October 2021

The air policing task developed by the 6th Main Jet Base Command of the Turkish Air Force at the 22nd Air Base Command in Malbork, Poland, continues to be carried out as of 06 July 2021. Together with Turkey, they are stationed in Lithuania with Spanish Eurofighters and in Estonia with Italian F-35s and continue their duties. After the deployment of our aircraft, first of all, the NATO Alarm Reaction (Tango Scramble (T-SCR)) flights, which are considered as environment recognition flights and the rehearsal/training of the alarm reaction mission, were declared ready for duty. During the mission, training and real alarm reaction missions were carried out at different periods under the control of the CAOC (Combined Air Operation Center) in Uedem, Germany. The mission of detecting and identification/prevention of undefined air traffic from the air has been carried out to protect the airspace of NATO member countries, and the main purpose of the mission has been achieved and it has been proven again that our country can perform the duties to be given within NATO. A press day was held on 26 August 2021 in order to introduce this mission, which is given great importance by Turkey and NATO, to the press and the public. Many members of the media and aerial photographers from various countries attended the press day and I was one of the lucky aerial photographers at this event.

After leading NATO Baltic Air Policing in the spring of 2006, this was the first time Turkey deployed their fighter jets to NATO’s enhanced Air Policing mission. Operating from Malbork, Poland, the task force consists of four F-16 aircraft from the 161st Squadron, Bandırma, Turkey. The F-16 which is combat-proven multi-role fighter, continues to serve as the backbone of Turkey and for NATO defense missions as well. Turkey has conducted many missions under the umbrella of NATO as a deterrent. Turkey has been a NATO member since 1952 and is ready to accomplish NATO peacekeeping missions with well-trained and experienced personnel.