The President of the Republic of Lithuania, Gitanas Nausėda, has visited the air base of 'Auliai' and the Spanish detachment 'Vilkas' together with other Lithuanian authorities, such as the Minister of Defence, the Chief of the Armed Forces and the Head of the Air Force.
The visit’s aim was mainly to get to know NATO's Baltic Air Police (BAP) mission on the ground, which is led by the Spanish armed forces in this deployment.
President Nausėda has been briefed about BAP mission by the Head of the detachment Lieutenant Colonel Jesús Gutiérrez Gallego on how the mission enables safe use of Baltic airspace and the areas of responsibility under its control.
The President was told about how a standard ‘scramble’ mission to identify airships that not comply with air-space regulations is carried out.
Lieutenant Colonel Jesús Gutiérrez Gallego has remarked how, despite COVID-19, the Spanish Armed Forces’ deployment in Lithuania remains fully operational.
President Nausėda, accompanied by United Kingdom and Germany ambassadors to Lithuania and a representative from the Spanish Embassy, has visited the ‘Quick Rapid Alert’ (QRA) hangars where he received technical information about the ‘EF-18’ aircraft and other systems and procedures required for the Air Policing mission.
The president of the Republic of Lithuania thanked the Spanish Armed Forces for its professionalism and its commitment to the protection of the Baltic air-space.
SPANISH ARMED FORCES AND THE BAP
This is the third time that the Spanish armed forces have led the BAP mission, in which they have already participated on seven occasions with the deployment of aircraft in the area of operations. Spain's presence in the Baltic is therefore a sign of our nation's commitment to the allies and the confidence NATO places in our armed forces.
The BAP is a collective defence mission to which NATO members contribute on a rotating basis. This mission aims to preserve the integrity of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian airspace.