Tomanek: The Baltic mission was successful |

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Tomanek: The Baltic mission was successful

Tomanek: The Baltic mission was successful

Three JAS-39 fighter planes landed at the airport in Caslav yesterday afternoon, while the fourth is expected to come this evening as it took part in the ceremony at the end of the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission in Amari.

Czech pilots with the JAS-39 Gripen fighters operated at the Amari base from early September. They protected the airspace of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia within the NATO air and missile defence system.

The Baltic mission was successful, Petr Tomanek said. Czech fighter pilots flew 13 sorties, which is a standard number, he added.

They took off, for instance, if some aircraft did not communicate, did not meet the conditions for a flight over territorial waters and did not use identification codes. The Gripen pilots had to identify them.

The Czech fighter pilots successfully fulfilled each of these tasks and no problem emerged in contact with other planes, a Gripen pilot said.

Such interventions are aimed at the civilian space security, Tomanek noted. Besides, Czech pilots spent hundreds of hours in training flights.

Gripens and the first part of the personnel are to return yesterday. The other part of the unit will fly home in a week. A total of 75 soldiers took part in the mission, Tomanek said.

The Czech soldiers will be replaced by the Polish pilots with their F-16s at the Amari air base. The Estonian mission is the sixth allied air policing of the Czech air force. Along with the Baltics, Czech fighters operated in Iceland as well.

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