«So our primary task is to maintain an alert posture with our F-15Cs, so we’ll be here to respond any sort of alert commitment or launches that’s required. Obviously, we have crews that are on standby to launch, to intercept anything, or missions we are given from our control centre».
«One of the reasons we’ve done that [come to Lithuania] is really to provide some of our pilots the opportunity... Еще to train at a different location, it’s not any sort of response to anything, it’s simply to allow our pilots to train at a different location, so we can do some local training that’s not in support of the alert lines».
The US Air Force deployed seven F-15C Eagle fighter jets and 140 servicemen from the 48th Fighter Wing to Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania, Wednesday.
The US is assuming command from the Polish Air Force for NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission.
«Our primary task is to maintain an alert posture with our F-15Cs, so we’ll be here to respond any sort of alert commitment», Major Cody Blake said, adding «it’s not any sort of response to anything, it’s simply to allow our pilots to train at a different location».
During the official handover ceremony, Polish airmen were honoured with Lithuanian state medals.
The mission, which started in 2004, covers the airspace over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The deployment comes two weeks before the Zapad-2017 joint military exercises between Russia and Belarus.
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