Release: 17-64 August 29, 2017
48th Air Expeditionary Group deploys to Lithuania
ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England (Aug. 28, 2017) — The 48th Fighter Wing has deployed approximately 140 Airmen and seven F-15C Eagles as the 48th Air Expeditionary Group to Siauliai Air Base, Lithuania to assume control of the NATO Baltic Air Policing peacetime collective defense mission Aug. 29, 2017.
The U.S. Air Force will officially assume command of the current BAP mission from the Polish military on Aug. 30. During the deployment, U.S. Airmen will continue to build upon shared values, experiences and vision to strengthen the bond between Baltic allies through shared capabilities and coordinated efforts to effectively accomplish missions.
U.S. participation in this mission underscores its unwavering pledge to NATO to ensure a safe and stable future for the Baltics while preserving the integrity of NATO’s borders. This action comes at the request of Baltic allies and further demonstrates U.S. commitment to the security of fellow NATO nations under Article 5.
U.S. European Command is one of the United States’ two forward-deployed Geographic Combatant Commands whose area of focus cover almost one-fifth of the planet, including all of Europe, large portions of Asia, parts of the Middle East and the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. The command is responsible for military relations with NATO and 51 countries with a total population of close to a billion people.