Czech Gripen fighters return from mission in Baltic

Four Czech JAS-39 Gripen fighters landed at Čáslav air base on Friday, the Czech News Agency reports. They were returning from a mission in Lithuania, where they had been deployed as part of a mission to guard Baltic airspace since April. The mission was originally supposed to end in July, but was extended upon Lithuania’s request because no replacement could be found, the head of Čáslav air base Jaroslav Mika told journalists.

Czech pilots have been taking part in missions to guard NATO members’ airspace since 2009.