The Czech Air Force has forward deployed its Gripen-equipped 211th tactical squadron to Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania from where it will patrol the airspace of NATO’s Baltic members.
Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia do not have their own supersonic fighters and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation states have been providing them the capability since 2004.
The Baltic countries may extend the NATO mission until 2018.
The Czech squadron replaced a Danish unit at month`s start. The deployment is the first international sortie of the Czech Air Force since the Second World War.
Under the scheme two Gripen aircraft are now on standby around the clock, seven days a week, and are ready to scramble against unknown or hostile intruders, as well as to provide assistance to aircraft in distress.