The Hungarian Air Force took over NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission in May 2019. Along with the Spanish Air Force and UK Royal Air Force, they're responsible for ensuring the safety of air traffic over and near Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
In May 2019, the Hungarian Air Force took over the lead of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission based at Šiauliai Air Base in Lithuania. Baltic Air Policing is a peacetime mission, one of several focused on safeguarding the skies of Allied nations against unsafe air traffic. Air policing takes place throughout the Alliance 365 days a year. Since assuming command, the Hungarians have scrambled three times to intercept Russian military aircraft passing through international airspace. NATO air policing aircraft scramble whenever unidentified air traffic either fails to send an identification code or respond to hails from air traffic controllers. Footage includes shots of a training scramble, including shots of pilots rushing to their JAS 39 Gripen fighters, maintenance crews prepping the aircraft for launch, and fighters taking off and landing. Interview: Hungarian Air Force Brigadier General Csaba Ugrik.
Hungarian Air Force fighters scramble to support Baltic Air Policing, a peacetime mission to keep NATO’s skies safe.
1. (00:00) VARIOUS SHOTS – PILOTS RUSH TO THEIR AIRCRAFT 2. (00:15) MEDIUM SHOT – PILOT STRAPS INTO JAS 39 GRIPEN MULTIROLE FIGHTER 3. (00:18) VARIOUS SHOTS – CANOPY CLOSES 4. (00:26) VARIOUS SHOTS – MAINTENANCE CREW PREP THE AIRCRAFT FOR LAUNCH 5. (00:40) VARIOUS SHOTS – FIGHTER TAXIS FOR TAKEOFF 6. (01:02) WIDE SHOT – FIGHTERS TAKES OFF 7. (01:06) WIDE SHOT – FIGHTER BANKING AGAINST CLOUDS 8. (01:12) WIDE SHOT – FIGHTERS ON APPROACH FOR LANDING 9. (01:16) VARIOUS SHOTS – FIGHTERS LANDING 10. (01:26) VARIOUS SHOTS – FIGHTERS RETURNING TO HANGAR 11. (01:55) CLOSE-UP – AIM-9 SIDEWINDER AIR-TO-AIR MISSILE ON FIGHTER WINGTIP 12. (01:59) CLOSE-UP – HUNGARIAN AIR FORCE BALTIC AIR POLICING PATCH 13. (02:03) MEDIUM SHOT – PILOT INSPECTING AIRCRAFT 14. (02:08) VARIOUS SHOTS – PILOT CLIMBING INTO COCKPIT 15. (02:21) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) BRIGADIER GENERAL CSABA UGRIK, HUNGARIAN AIR FORCE “As NATO Air Policing here in the Baltics, we are safeguarding the Baltic countries and as well, the rest of Europe. Flight safety, and to protect the whole Europe, that is the key of the air policing mission, as the ‘police in the air,’ let’s say what we are doing with this air policing.” 16. (02:50) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) BRIGADIER GENERAL CSABA UGRIK, HUNGARIAN AIR FORCE “We have had three intercepts, the live ‘Alpha’ intercepts, intercepts against the Russian aircraft. That was as well as some transport aircraft, and that was as well as some recognition aircraft, and as well as some fighters.” 17. (03:08) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) BRIGADIER GENERAL CSABA UGRIK, HUNGARIAN AIR FORCE “The main point is to approach safely, to keep the distance and as well to show the intercepted aircraft that you are intercepted. And then we are doing the visual identification, the tail number, the color, what type of aircraft, and as well we are trying to do some pictures about the intercepted aircraft. And then when we have done with the VID, we are passing the information to the high command, and they are commanding us to follow the aircraft, or it’s okay, the aircraft is already safe flying, and then we can return home.”