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The Chief of Staff of the Spanish Air Force visits the Spanish troops in the Baltic Air Police mission

In Siauliai, Lithuania
May 18, 2022
  • Lieutenant General Salto has shown his full support for the contingent, whose mission he considers fundamental in the current security environment on the eastern flank of the Alliance

The Chief of Staff of the Spanish Air Force (JEMA in Spanish), Javier Salto Martínez-Avial, visited the Spanish troops deployed at Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania to carry out their work in NATO's Baltic Air Police (BAP) mission.

Accompanied by the Chief of the Combat Air Command, Lieutenant General Francisco González-Espresati Amian, and the Chief of the General Air Command, Major General Juan Ángel Treceño García, the JEMA was received by the head of the detachment, Lieutenant Colonel David Soto Martínez. The visit was joined by the Second Head of the Spanish Embassy in the Republic of Lithuania, Luisa María García García. 

After a brief lecture on the mission, he visited several of the detachment's facilities, as well as one of the alarm hangars from where the EF-18s of the 12th Air Force Wing take off, if necessary.

It was during the visit to the alarm hangar that an unforeseen situation forced the JEMA and his delegation to momentarily interrupt their work programme to allow the two Spanish aircraft to take off, which at that moment were in Readiness Status 15 (normal alert status, which means that in order to identify a flight with an unknown track, the aircraft must take off within 15 minutes of the control centre activating the alarm).

Subsequently, the Air Force Chief of Staff resumed the scheduled programme and addressed the contingent, showing his support and gratitude to the personnel, and encouraged them to continue carrying out their work while maintaining the safety standards in the operations they have been carrying out.

The participation of the Spanish Armed Forces in the BAP mission, a NATO collective defence mission whose objective is to preserve the security of the Alliance's airspace, is an example of the firm commitment acquired by Spain and of the consistent solidarity with the allied nations