Dutch F-16s end Baltic ops

Dutch F-16 fighter aircraft returned home from Poland on 16 December, ending their participation in NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission. The F16s left their temporary base in Malbork in north eastern Poland, and flew home to Leeuwarden airbase.

The Dutch started their mission in September. Since, they intercepted aircraft four times, most notably two Sukhoi Su-34 Fullbacks from Russia. According to the Royal Netherlands Air Force, two Ilyushin IL-20 Coot spy planes were also intercepted last week.

The last of the 70 Dutch personnel at Malbork are also expected home before Christmas. It’s the Belgians that will replace them. By January, Belgian Air Component F-16s are expected at Malbork to take part in the Baltic Air Policing mission. Meanwhile, Eurofighter Typhoons from Italy are said to be heading to Siauliai in Lithuania, replacing Portuguese F-16s.

© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest

A Dutch F-16 returns home. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
A Dutch F-16 returns home. (Image © Elmer van Hest)