Launch of the enhanced 2018 Air Policing mission (30 April 2018) [fr]
Since 30 April 2018 France deploys 4 Mirage 2000-5 of the Groupe de chasse 1/2 Cigognes on the basis of Ämari in Estonia as part of NATO’s 2018 Enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission. This peacetime air policing mission complements NATO’s Baltic air policing and strengthens Allied presence in the exclusive air zones of Baltic Allies.
Succeeding to the Regia Aeronautica (Italian air force), the French air force will maintain a continuous operational permanence until 31 August 31 2018 to ensure the air policing of the Baltic States. A hundred airmen of all specialties (pilots, mechanics, firefighters, fusiliers-commandos, etc.) are mobilized to serve this seventh French deployment in the region.
Since 2004, France regularly contributes to NATO’s air policing missions over the Baltic States. Its last engagement was carried out from 31 August 2016 to 5 January 2017.
This NATO mission, traditionally carried out from Lithuania (Šiauliai base), was complemented by the adoption of insurance measures at the Wales Summit in 2014. Since then, enhanced Air Policing missions have also been carried out from bases in Estonia (Ämari) and Poland (Malbork).
Source: Ministry of the armed forces