Fighter jets from Italy, Poland, and the United States took to the skies over NATO’s eastern flank as part of NATO’s Air Shielding mission. The line-up of aircraft included Italian Eurofighters, Polish F-16s, Polish MiG-29s, and United States F-22s. The planned one-day series of aerial maneuvers were conducted from Łask Air Base in Poland on 12 October 2022.
NATO’s Air Shielding mission is an increased air and missile defense posture along the Alliance’s eastern flank, implemented in the wake of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. Allies have deployed more fighter jets and ground-based air and missile defense systems to protect Allies along the eastern flank against possible air and missile threats. This is purely defensive, and a key component of NATO’s enhanced deterrence and defense posture. NATO’s Air Shielding involves deployments ranging from a few weeks to several months at air bases and key locations in the eastern part of the Alliance.
In an interview with UK Royal Air Force Flight Lieutenant Lewis Travers of the 3rd Fighter Squadron stated,