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NATO Air Policing Missions
 
Latest update: August 2017
 
Twelve countries signed the North Atlantic Treaty on April 4, 1949: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. On June 5, 2017 Montenegro joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) becoming the 29th member of the alliance.

With the joining of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, known as the Baltic nations, on May 29, 2004 NATO stood up its first air policing mission (APM). The APM assists NATO members without the means to provide their own policing mission (quick reaction alert - QRA). Scrambles are initiated by the responsible Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC). Currently the following air policing missions are conducted by NATO

Albania Air Policing:

Albania joined NATO in 2009 and an arrangement similar to Slovenia (see below) was established. Operating from their home bases both the Greek and Italian Air Forces are responsible to secure the Albanian air space.

Baltic Air Policing (BAP) - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania:

Belgium was the first NATO country provide the BAP mission from March 27, 2004 until July 1, 2004 with its Lockheed Martin F-16AMs.

Iceland Air Policing:

Until March 1, 1995 the United States Air Forces Europe 57th Fighter Squadron (prior 57th fighter Interceptor Squadron) was based at Keflavik Air Base. The squadron provided the air defense or Iceland. After its deactivation the task was rotated between other USAF fighter squadrons which ended in 2006. NATO took over the air policing mission with the first rotation conducted by the French Air Force with four Mirage 2000s in 2008.

Slovenia Air Policing:

From 2004 the Italian Air Force commenced with the air policing mission for Slovenia. On January 17, 2014 the Hungarian and Slovenian defence ministers signed an agreement resulting in the Hungarian Air Force joining their Italian colleagues.
The CAOC decides which countries aircraft are scrambled. Hungary provides the air policing task with its Saab JAS-39C based at Kecskemét (59th Tactical Fighter Wing). The Italian Air Force as assigned its EF-2000s.

Notes:

Luxembourg has no air force of its own. Until December 31, 2016 its air space was protected by the Belgian Air Component (BAC). From January 1, 2017 the BAC and Royal Netherlands Air Force rotate their QRA on a four month interval covering all three BENELUX countries.

Montenegro's Air Force doesn't posses fighter aircraft, its Soko G-4 Super Galeb were transferred to the Serbian Air Force or sold on the civilian market.

For the detailed overviews of the air policing rotations please visit:

NATO BAP: Šiauliai ; NATO BAP: Ämari ; NATO BAP: Malbork ; NATO AP Iceland ; NATO AP Bulgaria and Romania.
 
Overview NATO Air Policing Missions
 
Country Šiauliai Ämari Malbork Total BAP Iceland Bulgaria Romania Total APM
                 
Albania                
Belgium 3 2 2 7 0 0 0 7
Bulgaria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 1 0 0 1 6 0 2 9
Croatia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Czech Republic 2 0 0 2 6 0 0 8
Denmark 4 1 0 5 6 0 0 11
Estonia                
France 5 0 1 6 2 0 0 8
Germany 5 4 0 9 4 0 0 13
Greece 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Hungary 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Iceland                
Italy 2 0 0 2 4 1 0 7
Latvia                
Lithuania                
Luxembourg                
Montenegro                
The Netherlands 2 0 1 3 0 0 0 3
Norway 3 0 0 3 8 0 0 11
Poland 7 0 0 7 0 0 0 7
Portugal 3 0 0 3 2 0 1 6
Romania 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Slovakia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Slovenia                
Spain 2 2 0 4 0 0 0 4
Turkey 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
United Kingdom 2 2 0 4 0 0 1 5
United States 5 0 0 5 19 1 0 25
                 
Total 49 11 4 64 57 2 4 127
 
Photo gallery
 
Belgian F-16AM Canada CF-188 Czech republic JAS-39C
     
Denamrk F-16AM France Mirage 2000-5F France Mirage F.1CR
     
Germany EF-2000 Germany F-4F Hungary JAS-39C
     
Italy EF-2000 Netherlands F-16AM Norway F-16AM
     
Poland F-16C Poland Mig-29 Romania Mig-21 / Lancer
     
Spain EF-2000 Spain Mirage F.1M Turkey F-16C
     
United Kingdom Tornado F.3 United Kingdom Tornado GR.4 United States F-15
     
   
United States F-16    
 
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