Armed Forces

Belgian F-16 will Deploy to Poland

Belgian Air Force F-16 fighters will be stationed in Poland from the early 2015. The deployment is related to reinforced Baltic Air Policing detachment, which has been bolstered due to the Ukrainian crisis. These planes will replace the Dutch Vipers, which are currently stationed in Malbork AB.

According to the General Command of the Armed Forces, the Belgian fighters deployed to Malbork will be involved both in Baltic Air Policing operation, as well as in joint exercise activities with the Polish Air Force. The deployment will last several months. The most probable time-line would stretch from January till April next year, should there be no changes in the schedule of Baltic Air Policing deployment turns.

NATO decided to reinforce the Baltic Air Policing due to the Ukrainian crisis. Malbork AB is a home for the Dutch F-16 now, and within the period between May and August the 22nd Tactical Air Base was reinforced by the French Rafales and Mirage 2000's.

Currently, both Belgian and Dutch, F-16 fighters are involved in combat activities against the ISIS terrorists in the Middle East. Both countries had reduced the numbers of the F-16AM/BM fighters that were in active service, which poses some questions regarding their capability to act in a dense air-defence environment, particularly in case of a necessity to deploy aircraft in several mission areas simultaneously.