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Dutch F-35s stationed in Malbork have already had to take off for Russian planes four times

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During the last six weeks of their mission in Malbork, the Dutch F-35s made about 150 sorties. Four of them were held in emergency mode, NATO said. Dutch fighters identified and intercepted Russian military aircraft over the Baltic Sea.

Since the end of January, eight Dutch F-35 fighters have been stationed at the Polish air base in Malbork. Their task is to deter enemies and defend the eastern flank of NATO, as well as to conduct flights as part of the Baltic Air Policing mission and train with allies in the region.

– Our jets have been closely integrated with the NATO mission in the field of deterrence and defense conducted in Malbork – said Lieutenant Colonel Commander of the 160-strong F-35 Detachment Guido Schols.

Under the control of the Polish Air Operations Center in Warsaw and the NATO Joint Air Operations Center in Uedem, we monitored the sky and conducted regular training activities with allies, demonstrating the capabilities of our F-35s across the spectrum of combined and joint missions – he added.

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Four flights in emergency mode

NATO reports that the fifth generation fighters have made about 150 sorties. On four occasions, Dutch F-35s were forced to take off in alert mode to identify and escort Russian military aircraft flying near the borders NATO countries at the Baltic sea.

“During the training, the pilots of Lieutenant Colonel Schols performed missions simulating defensive counterattack, integrated air and missile defense, as well as suppressing and destroying enemy air defenses, including basic fighter maneuvers, combat maneuvers and interceptor training with French, German, Polish and American aircraft,” it said. FOR THIS.

Dutch F-35Twitter/NATO_AIRCOM

Netherlands brought with her a special team of maintenance and logisticians who built the structures required to operate the F-35 fighters. “This was a big part of our pre-deployment preparation work in January,” explained F-35 maintenance officer Lieutenant Jef de Wit.

– We have reorganized and adapted part of the base infrastructure to the needs of fifth generation fighter operations, always with the strong support of our Polish hosts – he stressed.

Dutch F-35s conducted their first NATO operations in Bulgaria in 2022. – Many lessons learned from our stay in Bulgaria helped our team in Poland. Malbork is not unknown to our air force. In 2014, we were among the first members of the Alliance to deploy F-16 fighters here, said Lieutenant Colonel Schols.

Main photo source: Twitter/NATO_AIRCOM

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