Mission of NATO in the Baltic States reduced because of idle time of planes of
Scales of mission of Air patrol of NATO in the Baltic countries were reduced taking into account that more than a half of the fighters ranked as mission the last half-year stood idle unused, the chairman of Military committee of Alliance declared.
In BNS interview the Czech general Peter Pavel recognized that the message on reduction of mission was made not properly, but assured that eight deployed in Lithuania and Estonia of fighters have enough for safety of air space.
Since 2004 when Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia entered NATO, prior to the beginning of crisis in Ukraine, mission of the Baltic air patrol was carried out by four fighters deployed in Lithuanian Shaulyai. After annexation of the Crimea mission strengthened, and the last year allies sent 16 fighters – eight to Lithuania and on four to Estonia and Poland. Since September on watch remained on four fighters in Lithuania and Estonia. The Czech general presiding over meetings of military representatives of NATO, noted that the decision to cut mission since September by half was "purely technical", taking into account it was necessary what to accompany the Russian military planes approximately every second day. "Taking into account semi-annual experience, the management of the Air Force came to a conclusion that from these 12 planes which were added to being available to four, were actually used only two", – P. Pavel told.
"I am compelled to recognize that communication with the public was not successful. Unclear the statement that we reduce mission by eight planes, in volume time as the public hears about growth of activity of Russia in air space seems. There would be more sense if told that activity of Russia in air space grew by 50 %, in comparison with the same period of last year, and mission of air patrol in the Baltic countries remains increased by 100 %. Twelve additional fighters actually meant increase at 400 %", – P. Pavel told.