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French Air Force to Take Over Policing Baltic Air in May

RIA Novosti

17:35 28/01/2013 RIGA, January 28 (RIA Novosti) - The French Air Force will take over from Denmark the mission of policing Baltic airspace in May, the Latvian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

Danish F-16 fighters will be replaced by French Mirage 2000C fighters.

France has previously participated in three missions: in 2007, 2010 and 2011.

Since March 2004, when the Baltic States joined NATO, the round-the-clock mission to police the airspace of the Baltic States has been conducted on a three to four-month rotation basis from Lithuania's First Air Base in Zokniai, near the northern city of Šiauliai.

A usual deployment consists of four fighter aircraft and between 50 and 100 support personnel.

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