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NATO reassurance measures

27.05.2014  17:01
The North Atlantic Council on 16 April 2014 agreed on a package of extra military measures to reinforce the Alliance’s collective defence in wake of the crisis in Ukraine.

The decision sets the basis for more Allied aircraft on patrol over the Baltic region, the deployment of Allied ships to the Baltic Sea and the eastern Mediterranean and  NATO Land training and exercises.  All deployments are defensive in nature.


Air Policing & Training

Since 2004, NATO Allies have taken turns sending fighter aircraft to police the airspace of the Baltic States as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania do not have fighter jets of their own. NATO’s air-policing mission protects the safety and integrity of Alliance airspace on a 24/7 basis and Allies take up the patrols for a four-month rotation. Allies have traditionally deployed four fighter jets for this mission. In March, the United States increased its deployment for the January-April rotation, to 10 F-15 fighter jets. Poland is currently the lead nation for the air policing effort from May-August 2014. Portugal will be next to take over the rotation, with support from Germany and the Netherlands.

Denmark:            4 x F-16 fighter jets, based at Amari (Estonia)
France:                4 x Rafale fighter jets, based at Malbork (Poland)
Poland:                4 x Mig 29 fighter jets, based at Siauliai (Lithuania)
United Kingdom:  4 x Typhoon fighter jets, based at Siauliai (Lithuania)
Canada:              6 x CF-18 fighter jets, based at Campia Turzii (Romania)
(conducting training exercises with Romanian counterparts)


NATO started AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) reconnaissance flights over Poland and Romania on 11 March (2014), a day after the North Atlantic Council decided to increase surveillance in the airspace over the two Allied nations and to monitor the crisis in Ukraine. 

NATO:                1 AWACS, rotating from Ørland (Norway), Preveza (Greece) and Konya                           (Turkey)
United Kingdom: 1 AWACS, based at Waddington (United Kingdom)
France:               1 AWACS, based at Avord (France)

The AWACS are supported by air-to-air refueller aircraft provided by the United States, the Netherlands and Turkey.



NATO has deployed two of its standing maritime groups - Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group ONE (SNMCMG1) and the Standing NATO Maritime Group ONE (SNMG1) on patrols to support NATO maritime assurance measures

Baltic Sea:  Standing Mine Counter-Measures Group ONE left the port of Kiel, Germany for patrols in the Baltic Sea on 22 April (2014). The group is conducting port visits and participates in an annual mine clearance operation (naval exercise Open Spirit 2014). Germany took over command of the group on 26 May from Norway. The group currently includes seven ships:

Germany:            FGS ELBE, flagship
Belgium:              BNS BELLIS, Mine hunter
Estonia:               ENS ADMIRAL COWAN, Mine hunter
France:                FS CASSIOPEE, FS L’AIGLE, Mine hunter
Norway:               HNoMS OTRA, Mine hunter
The Netherlands:  HNLMS MAKKUM, Mine hunter

Mediterranean: NATO on 12 May (2014) tasked an enlarged Standing NATO Maritime Group ONE (SNMG1) to conduct NATO maritime assurance measures alongside counter-terrorism patrols in the eastern Mediterranean. The group includes five ships:

Norway:           HNoMS THOR HEYERDAHL, Frigate (flagship)
Germany:         FGS MAGDEBURG, Corvette
Turkey:             TCG GEMLIK, Frigate
United States:   USS TAYLOR, Frigate
Canada:            HMCS REGINA, Frigate (expected to join SNMG1 in coming days)


Around 6,000 troops from Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States participated in the NATO-led “Steadfast Javelin” exercise which took place from 16 - 23 May. The exercise was based on a fictitious scenario and involved participating Allied forces repelling an attack on Estonia in an Article 5 context. Participating units included infantry and reconnaissance forces, engineers, fighter jets as well as anti-aircraft teams and a cyber security team.

Reinforced Military Planners: Eighteen Allies have sent extra military staff to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) to reinforce planning functions. These include experts from Canada, Poland, Norway, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Romania, France, the United States, Slovakia, Estonia, the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Greece and Lithuania.

This list only captures military assets which have been placed under the direct command of NATO. This list does not reflect national or multinational deployments to central and eastern Europe outside the NATO umbrella, such as Allied troops in the Baltic States or Allied naval vessels on national duty in the Black Sea. The list also does not capture Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish or Romanian troops permanently based in their home countries.