DCSIMG

Suffolk-based USAF aircrews boost Nato force in Baltic

A USAF  F-15C Eagle from the 493rd Fighter Squadron takes off from RAF Lakenheath
Picture USAF/SSgt Emerson Nunez ANL-140703-133622001

A USAF F-15C Eagle from the 493rd Fighter Squadron takes off from RAF Lakenheath Picture USAF/SSgt Emerson Nunez ANL-140703-133622001

The USAF has sent additional aircraft and personnel from Lakenheath and Mildenhall to the Baltic in support of a Nato policing force there.

As tension increased in the Ukraine six F-15C Eagles left RAF Lakenheath and two KC-135 Stratotankers carrying more than 60 airmen took off from RAF Mildenhall yesterday.

Nearly 150 Airmen and four F-15C Eagles from Lakenheath’s 48th Fighter Wing have been supporting the Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission out of Siauliai Air Base, Lithuania, since January as the 48th Air Expeditionary Group.

Col. Mark Ciero, 48th Fighter Wing vice commander, said “This is the advantage of being forward-based. If called upon, we can quickly respond to support our allies and partners.”

NATO countries rotate to provide Airmen and aircraft for the BAP mission, which is slated to continue through 2018.

In the last decade, 14 NATO nations have participated in this mission. This deployment marks the fourth rotation for American forces.

 

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