Armed Forces

Polish MiG-29 Fulcrums Return Home From Lithuania

The Orlik 6 deployment, realized within the scope of the NATO Baltic Air Policing operation, came to an end. The four Polish MiG-29M Fulcrums, that were stationed at the Šiauliai AB, returned home, to Poland.

The welcome ceremony for the Polish fighters was organized at the Powidz 33rd Transport Aviation Base. The Polish aviators were welcomed by the Commander In Chief of the Polish Armed Forces, General of Drms, pilot Lech Majewski, who stated that the efforts made by the pilots constitute an evidence that the Poles are efficient and loyal allies, who are ready to bear the responsibility for protecting the others. The ceremony also involved the deputy Minister of Defence Beata Oczkowicz, Air Force Inspector, Div. Gen. Pilot Jan Śliwka and chief of staff of the Operational Command of the Polish Armed Forces, Div. Gen. Pil. Sławomir Kałuziński.

This was the sixth Baltic Air Policing rotation that involved the Polish Air Force, at the same time the first one, in case of which the Poles were playing the role of a supporting-nation, not the lead nation, the latter one of which maintains the QRA duties for 24 hours, throughout the whole period of the mission, while the supporting nations maintain the same duties, but in a weekly cycle, together with another nation that has the same status.  When it comes to the Orlik 6 deployment, the Spanish Air Force was also providing the support, whereas the Spanish fighters were stationed in Estonia, at the Amari AB.

The Orlik 6 operation involved 110 soldiers, along with all the required equipment and facilities, coming from the 23rd AB in Minsk Mazowiecki. The subsequent rotation is going to be involving the Italian Eurofighters, along with the Norwegian F-16 Falcons, supported by the  RAF Typhoons, stationed in Estonia, and Belgian F-16 fighters, deployed to Malbork.