Lithuania, the Air Task Force reaches 800 flight hours

(To Greater Defense)

​In less than four months of activity, 800 hours of flight, 33 alpha scrambles and 58 intercepted aircraft that had flown, without authorization, over NATO airspace. This is the operational budget of the Italian mission Air Policing in Lithuania, which on November 30 will hand over to the allies of the Belgian Luchtcomponent and the French Armée de l'Air.

The mandate of Task Force Air 4th Wing “Baltic Horse III” began on August 1, with the achievement of full operational capability (FOC). From that moment on, Italian aircraft have guaranteed the defense and security of the skies of the Baltic Republics 24 hours a day, 24 days a week.

The results of the Task Force Air were achieved thanks to the collective work of both the fighter pilots and the technical maintenance staff, who ensure the efficiency of the aircraft and take part in the shifts of the alarm teams. In support of the flight line, all the staff who ensure supplies, logistics, mobility, financial administration, personnel management and installation safety on a daily basis. A complex team game, where every piece must fall into place.

The turns in which the allied nations alternate to carry out the tasks of Air Policing on the Baltic they are conventionally called "blocks". This last block, entrusted to the Italians this year, was number 63.

In the past, the Italian Air Force had ensured the service in 2015 (blocks 38 and 39) and in the two-year period 2020-21 (blocks 54 and 55). Compared to the past, the frequency of service activations Quick Reaction Alert has increased, due to the changed and delicate geopolitical situation.