Spain, as an active and committed member of the Atlantic Alliance, regularly takes part in it.
Although it raised the interest of the public opinion because of the Ukrainian crisis of 2014, it has continued to develop since 2004.
Spain contributes various fighter planes and the entire contingent employed is called “Vilkas Detachment”.
The Baltic Air-Policing mission (BAP) is part of the Alliance´s collective effort in guarding the airspace of its members, particularly those of the three Baltic republics, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
The allied deployment in north eastern Europe is developed under the NATO mandate within the framework of allied collective defence.
In June 2015, the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Powers of Europe (SHAPE) requested Spain´s participation in reinforcement efforts in the Baltic.
The NATO Air-Policing mission in the Baltic began in 2004 following the admission of the Baltic States into NATO. This implied the extension of the allied airspace in north eastern Europe, bordering Russia. Since Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania lack a combat air force that will allow them to fulfil the surveillance and control tasks over their territory as well as Quick Reaction Alert missions or scramble. For this reason, they need support from the rest of Allied countries.
Following the start of the Ukrainian crisis at the beginning of 2014 and the increasing entrance of Russian planes into Baltic airspace, the mission has been reinforced with more planes in each of the three countries and two additional deployment bases: Amari, in Estonia, and Malbork, in Poland.
The Spanish Air Force participated for the first time in the Baltic Air-Policing mission in 2006 with four Wing 14 Mirage F-1s deployed in Siauliai.
· August 31. Completion of the “Vilkas19” detachment deployment at Lithuania.
· May 2. Spanish “Vilkas19” detachment in Lithuania, as part of the Baltic Air Policing (BAP), together with its fighter aircrafts EF18 from Wing 12, begin his rapid response mission from the Siauliai Air Base till August 31, 2019.
· April 25. Six Eurofighter planes from Wing 11 took off Morón Air Base to take part in the Baltic Air Police Mission in Lithuania.
· Wing 11 and its Eurofighters take part for a second time in a BAP mission. This time, deployment will last until the end of August.
· May 1: The Spanish Vilkas detachment, together with six Eurofighters from Wing 11, operates from the Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania.
· September 1: Completion of the deployment of six Eurofighters from Wing 11.
· May 3: The Spanish Ámbar detachment, with five aircrafts EF-18 from Wing 15, operates from the Ämari Air Base in Estonia.
· September 6. Completion of the deployment of five aircrafts from Wing 15.
· January 1. Spain leads the mission until May. Vilkas detachment conducts the operation from Lithuania.
· January 4. Four Eurofighters from Wing 14 arrive to Vilkas detachment.
· May 4. Completion of the deployment of four aircrafts from Wing 14.
· January 1. Ámbar detachment begins operation.
· January 19. First interception of a Russian military aircraft by a Spanish fighter aircraft
· May 4. Completion of the deployment of four Spanish Eurofighters.
· March. Beginning of the crisis in Ukraine. The operation to strengthen the air space of Baltic countries starts with the additional deployment of four other fighter aircrafts F-15C Eagle from the United States.
· June 3. The Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe requests Spain to take part in the support of the operation.
· December 29. Four Spanish Eurofighter arrive to the Amari Base.
· August 1. Four Spanish fighter aircrafts F-1 from Wing 14 are deployed.
· November 30. Completion of the deployment of four Spanish aircrafts Mirage F-1.
· March 29. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania join the Atlantic Alliance.
· March 30. The Operation with four multirole fighters from Belgium begins.
The Spanish Armed Forces lead NATO Baltic Air Policing mission2020/04/30
Šiauliai, LituaniaMore information
Misión del Destacamento Vilkas19 en Lituania2019/09/10 More information
Detachment ‘Vilkas 19’ finishes its Baltic Air Police Mission2019/09/04
In Šiauliai, LithuaniaMore information