Costa visita militares portugueses empenhados na Lituânia em missões da NATO


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The Prime Minister, António Costa, is visiting today Portuguese Air Force troops engaged in Lithuania under NATO missions, on the eve of the start of the Atlantic Alliance summit, in Vilnius.

The Prime Minister will visit several combat aircraft, namely F-16 fighters, used by the Portuguese military in the ‘Baltic Air Policing (BAT)’ mission to patrol the airspace.

Afterwards, António Costa heads to Vilnius to take part in the NATO Summit, which will last until Wednesday and which will have Ukraine’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as one of its main themes.

Portugal is participating with 118 soldiers and five aircraft (including four F-16 M) in two Atlantic Alliance missions: the ‘Assurance Measures’ and the BAP.

The first mission began in 2014 and consists of a set of activities “of continuous presence on land, sea and air, within and near the eastern border of the allied territory, aimed at strengthening defense, deterring threats, reassuring populations and deterring potential aggression.”

Portugal and Romania succeeded France and Germany in the BAP in March, and by the end of July another two NATO member states will be in charge of air patrols.

The BAP is an air policing mission that aims to protect allied territory and populations from “air and missile threats and attacks,” and can also provide support to civilian aircraft, for example when they lose communication with air traffic control.

Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine in 2022, the allies have reinforced their presence in NATO’s eastern flank, namely in countries such as Romania, in which Portugal participates in two missions that aim to contribute to the Atlantic Alliance’s deterrence and defense capabilities: the ‘Tailored Forward Presence’ and the ‘Enhanced Vigilance Activity’.

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