World Bulletin/News Desk
The last deployment of U.S. troops arrived in the Baltics with four British fighter jets on Monday as NATO steps up efforts to reassure its allies in the face of Russian tensions with the West over Ukraine.
Four British Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets landed in Siauliai airbase in northern Lithuania, the first of 12 fighters that will boost air patrols in the Baltics, and 150 U.S. troops were deployed to the Amari air base in Estonia.
"Clearly we are here to reassure our Baltic allies that we are able to protect their airspace, should it be needed," RAF commanding officer Simon Hulme told reporters in Siauliai, standing in front one of the Typhoons.
Siauliai airport, a major military base in Soviet times, lacks modern infrastructure, so the UK squadron will be housed in temporary hangars built on the tarmac. Mission headquarters are housed in a block of metal containers clustered nearby.
Two of the four hangars were half-completed on Monday.