Portuguese Vipers have arrived in Poland.
The Portuguese Air Force has deployed four F-16M Vipers from Monte Real Air Base, Portugal, to 22 Baza Lotnictwa Taktycznego at Malbork Air Base in Poland, along with around 95 military personnel, on Sept. 4, 2020. The goal of the deployment is to conduct training with the NATO allies in the region. The initiative is organized as part of NATO’s Assurance Measures and the deployment is expected to last for around two months.
This is yet another deployment of the Portuguese aircraft to Malbork as a similar operation took place in March last year.
The NATO Aircom press release quotes the Portuguese detachment commander who said that:
(…) F-16 “Vipers” are capable to conduct multi-role missions both Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground, which offers great flexibility and provides for first-rate training opportunities with our friends. My team is scheduled to start the deployment on September 1 and our jets will arrive on September 4. Our F-16 “Vipers” are capable to conduct multi-role missions both Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground, which offers great flexibility and provides for first-rate training opportunities with our friends.
The deployment of the F-16s was supported by a C-130H of the Esq.501 from Montijo. On its way to Malbork, the transport aircraft was intercepted and welcomed by two Polish MiG-29 Fulcrums.
After their stay in Poland, the Portuguese Vipers will return to their original base in Monte Real, to continue their air policing efforts in the Portuguese airspace. BTW, on Aug. 28, the PoAF F-16s intercepted one of the B-52s undertaking the tour of Europe as part of the Allied Sky mission.