AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS — Dutch F-35s have already landed in Poland. The eight aircraft will be deployed at Malbork air base. The first four will monitor airspace on NATO’s eastern flank, and the next four will be used in an allied training program to increase NATO’s presence on the eastern flank, the Dutch defense ministry said.
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The Ministry of Defense of the Netherlands informed on its website that their F-35 aircraft has already landed in Poland. The Netherlands has assigned eight such machines to the mission. The aircraft will be based at the 22nd Tactical Air Base in Malbork, where allied fighters from Portugal, Turkey, and Italy were previously stationed.
The Dutch F-35s will be split into two teams. The first, consisting of four machines, will monitor the airspace on NATO’s eastern flank as part of the Air Policing/Air Shielding mission, where, for example, they will intercept another aircraft if its pilot refuses to identify himself or approaches the country’s airspace without permission.
The second group of four more machines will be used in the allied training program to increase NATO’s presence on the eastern flank and promote cooperation between its members.
As reported in the ministry’s announcement, the Dutch F-35s stationed at Malbork will stay in special tents that have been built by a team of 34 military engineers and technicians. The Dutch team has a dedicated hangar and container park at its disposal. It is used for office and residential premises. As the announcement adds, everything was built with the support of Poles.
The authorities of this country announced that the Netherlands will send its F-35 to Poland at the end of December. The Dutch aircraft will operate from January to March 2023. The Netherlands also deployed the F-35 for the same task in April and May last year in Bulgaria.
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