France takes over NATO patrols of Baltic skies

30th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

VILNIUS, March 30, 2007 (AFP) - France took over NATO patrols of the air space of the three Baltic states Friday, replacing the Belgian military, officials said.

VILNIUS, March 30, 2007 (AFP) - France took over NATO patrols of the air space of the three Baltic states Friday, replacing the Belgian military, officials said.

French pilots will patrol the air space of the NATO military alliance's three Baltic members using four Mirage 2000 supersonic fighters, which arrived at Zokniai air base in the north of the Lithuania on Thursday.

The three Baltic states, which emerged from Soviet rule 16 years ago and joined NATO on March 29, 2004, do not have the aircraft or personnel to police their skies themselves.

As part of the NATO air patrol mission, 120 French servicemen will be stationed at Zokniai for four months.

In August, the French will hand over the air space patrols to the Romanian air force.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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