A Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet in final approach to Malbork Air Base, Poland.
A Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet in final approach to Malbork Air Base, Poland.

Turkish Air Force Joins NATO Enhanced Air Policing in Poland

Four Turkish Air Force (Türk Hava Kuvvetleri) F-16 Fighting Falcons from 6th Main Jet Base at Bandırma touched down at Malbork Air Base in Poland on Tuesday. An 80-strong Turkish Air Force detachment operates the fighters from Malbork until mid-September in support of NATO’s Air Policing mission in the region. This is the second time, the Turkish Air Force contributes fighter jets to NATO Air Policing in the region, and the first deployment to Malbork, Poland.

Turkish Air Force personnel and equipment was airlifted into Malbork Air Base, Poland, with a C-130 aircraft.
Turkish Air Force personnel and equipment was airlifted into Malbork Air Base, Poland, with a C-130 aircraft. The F-16 fighter detachment will work with the Polish Air Force and the deployed Allied air forces in the region. Photo by 22nd Air Base Malbork. (Photo by 22nd Air Base Malbork/NATO HQ Allied Air Command)

This third Air Policing detachment in the region – in addition to the Spanish Air Force at Šiauliai, Lithunia, and the Italian Air Force at Ämari, Estonia – is an uptake of additional aircraft offers made by the Allies. The deployment of another additional fighter detachment to Malbork, POL, takes place under the auspices of the existing NATO enhanced Air Policing posture introduced in 2014. The deployment underlines the solidarity and cohesion among NATO Allies and the collective commitment to deterrence and defence.

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For some ten weeks, Malbork Air Base, Poland, will be the home base for four Turkish Air Force F-16 fighters and facilitate Allied cooperation and interoperability reassuring NATO Allies on the eastern border of NATO.
For some ten weeks, Malbork Air Base, Poland, will be the home base for four Turkish Air Force F-16 fighters and facilitate Allied cooperation and interoperability reassuring NATO Allies on the eastern border of NATO. (Photo by 22nd Air Base Malbork/NATO HQ Allied Air Command)

Sixty years after introducing the enduring NATO Air Policing mission, deployments like that of the Turkish F-16s to Malbork show our readiness and responsiveness and NATO’s continuing air agility, capability and adaptation.Three Allies from the south – Spain, Italy and Turkey – are supporting NATO’s Baltic Air Policing in the north demonstrating Alliance cohesion and solidarity. Deployed in the Baltic region, they will work with each other and the hosting air forces to enhance cooperation and interoperability.

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