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Vigilant Falcon 2022 international air defence exercise came to wrap

Vigilant Falcon 2022 international air defence exercise came to wrap

The joint Lithuanian Armed Forces’ and Allies’ Exercise Vigilant Falcon ran from May 17 through 21. Air defence personnel were completing air defence missions round the clock training interoperability with Lithuanian and Allied units in Radviliškis and Šiauliai regions and the city of Šiauliai. The training encompassed conduct of air defence operations, including combat air patrols, battle management, mid-air refueling, and activities at the Air Operations Centre, such as air traffic control with Lithuanian Air Force and Allied airspace surveillance and control systems, and operational coordination with air defence personnel across different positions and aircraft.

“I am grateful to all servicemembers and commanders for the involvement and dedication you have shown. I have no doubt you have played to your best result in this exercise. I hope everyone of you have learn something new, expanded your expertise and improved yourselves at individual and collective readiness level, said Air Force Command ER Col Dainius Guzas at the closing ceremony.

The exercise training audience encompassed the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), troops and aircraft of Belgium, Czech Republic, Spain and France conducting the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission, members of the United States Marine Corps, Air Force Headquarters, Air Base, Air Defence Battalion, Airspace Surveillance and Control Command, Armament and Equipment Repair Depot, as well as Military Police, and the 6th Territorial Unit, Resurrection District, National Defence Volunteer Force personnel.

Exercise Vigilant Falcon 2022 utilized RBS70 and GROM short-range missile air defence systems, Giraffe MkIV and Sentinel surveillance radars and NASAMS medium range air defence systems. U.S. Marine Corps troops used a multifunctional AOC supported by a ground radar deployed in Lithuania. JEF fighter aircraft EF-2000 and Voyager air refueling aircraft flew in from the United Kingdom.

As the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force is increasing engagement in the Baltic Region and interoperability with NATO capabilities, the Standing Joint Force HQ (SJFHQ) was for the first time deployed in Lithuania on May 2. Part of its officers trained at Exercise Vigilant Falcon 2022. The JEF is a high readiness, over a 10,000-strong capability established in 2015 and formed by maritime, land and air components contributed by 10 European partner nations (Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland and the UK). The capability is tailored to respond to contingencies in European and beyond, from humanitarian assistance and deterrence to combat operations under the flag of the European Union, NATO and the United Nations.

Information and photo credits: Lithuanian Air Force