Polish F-16s based in Lithuania alongside Dutch F-35s and US F-15s currently deployed in Poland carried out 4th-5th generation integration training against an intricate scenario based on peer threats. Supported by air to air refuelers, the fighters practiced tactics, techniques and procedures designed to defeat a complex set of potential real-world problems in a contested air domain. Joint Tactical Attack Controllers from the Estonian Armed Forces supported the aircraft providing live targeting information during the mission and increasing Air-Land cooperation.
“This activity provides a unique opportunity for Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35s to train and integrate with Allied fighters, working together in a complex and dynamic environment. Harnessing the full potential of our new 5th Gen systems alongside existing 4th Gen assets is critical for NATO’s robust ability to meet emerging and evolving strategic challenges,” Lieutenant Colonel Guido “Plebs” Schols, Commander RNLAF (Royal Netherlands Air Force; Koninklijke Luchtmacht) F-35 Detachment, Poland.
The activity is in compliance with international laws and standards as part of a programme of regular and repeated vigilance activities aimed at shielding the eastern flank and assuring NATO Allies in the region. Eight Dutch F-35s are deployed in Malbork, Poland, joining NATO’s mission bolstering the defensive posture along the eastern flank in February and March 2023. While four of the fifth-generation fighters will be employed in support of policing the skies in the region or stand ready to augment the defensive mission when required.