Allied Air Command
May 11, 2022

Commander AIRCOM: Four Allies are expertly executing NATO enhanced Vigilance Activities here in Siauliai

On May 10, General Jeff Harrigian, Commander Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) visited NATO detachments currently deployed at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, conducting Allied missions securing the skies in the region.

During his visit to NATO’s main operating base for Baltic Air Policing at Šiauliai in Lithuania, General Jeff Harrigian, met with representatives from Host Nation Lithuania, the in-place fighter detachments of Spain and the Czech Republic and the deployed US Marine Corps radar unit.

“Four Allies are expertly executing NATO enhanced Vigilance Activities here in Siauliai,” said General Harrigian. “Spain’s F-18s are leading NATO’s Baltic Air Policing, the Czech Republic’s JAS-39 Gripens are augmenting the mission, and the US Marine Corps’ Air Operation Center is increasing our situational awareness with their deployed radar – all fantastically hosted by the Lithuanian Air Force,” he added.

“…Together, with all the other Allies supporting our NATO Alliance along the eastern flank, they send a clear and strong message of our cohesion, readiness, and commitment to collective defense,” Harrigian concluded.

The two fighter detachments from Spain and the Czech Republic arrived here in April 2022 and are currently manning NATO’s Baltic Air Policing that started in Lithuania in 2004 providing interceptors for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania policing and securing the skies in an Alliance context. The US Marine Corps AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) deployed here at the end of April delivering multi-domain command and control, air defence, air traffic control, radar surveillance, and communications support. The G/ATOR allows Marines to conduct air surveillance and air domain awareness in support of NATO operations. These assets are firmly integrated with NATO’s collective security posture that has been enhanced to protect and defend if necessary the eastern Allies.