On the occasion of the Coronation Day of King Mindaugas, its National Holiday

The Spanish EF-18, the main attraction in a massive popular event in Lithuania

On July 6, Air Force fighters attracted large crowds to a massive popular event at the Šiauliai Air Base in Lithuania.

The formidable photographs of Spanish EF-18 fighters taken by a Polish spotter
The fast takeoff of Spanish EF-18 and French Mirage 2000 fighters in a BAP mission

The choice of that day is due to the fact that July 6 is the National Holiday of Lithuania, known as the Day of the Coronation of King Mindaugas, considered the founder of the Lithuanian state, in the year 1253.

The event held at the Šiauliai Air Base, called RunwayRun'22, included an static exhibition of defense material from the Lithuanian Armed Forces and also from the Spanish EF-18M Hornet fighters from the Vilkas Detachment, deployed at that Lithuanian base since the month March on a Baltic Air Policing mission. After the exhibition, a race for children and adults was scheduled in the base's secondary runway 32L (the main runway, 32R, had to be left free for the Spanish fighters to continue operating). Finally, a concert was organized.

On July 4, the Lithuanian base appealed to the movie "Top Gun" and F-18s as inducements to attend the event, noting that this event is "the only race of its kind in Lithuania where the runners are challenged by fighter jets Spanish F-18." Spanish Air Force planes were one of the main attractions of the event, as the Lithuanian Air Force does not have its own fighters. You can see here some photos of the race published by the Šiauliai Air Base and by Sportas Visiems on their Facebook pages.

A Lithuanian Army Sisu E13TP truck at the materiel exhibition held at the Šiauliai Air Base that day.

An armored personnel carrier M-113 of the Lithuanian Army at the exhibition of military equipment. The emblem of the Lithuanian Armed Forces is the so-called Gediminas Columns, one of the historical symbols of Lithuania, of medieval origin.

A Lithuanian Air Force Mil Mi-17 transport helicopter at the material exhibition.

The Spanish EF-18M attracted the attention of children and adults. Here we see some taking photos of the C.15-65 12-23, from Wing 12, based in Torrejón.

For the duration of the event, the EF-18s continued to operate on the base's main runway.

Two of the eight Spanish EF-18M deployed in Lithuania, flying over the Šiauliai Air Base during the event. In this case, they are two aircraft from Wing 15, based in Zaragoza: the C.15-26 15-13 and the C.15-18 15-05.

Another two of the Spanish EF-18Ms flying over Šiauliai during this event. In this case it is the C.15-62 12-20 and the C.15-44 12-02, both from Wing 12. These are the two planes we saw last week in the excellent photos by Sławek Krajniewski.

An image of the race held at the Lithuanian base, passing by the EF-18M C.15-65 12-23.

The EF-18M C.15-65 12-23 at the finish line of the race, about to start. Members of the Military Police unit of the Air Deployment Support Squadron (EADA) of the Spanish Air Force, wearing yellow vests, guarded the fighter.

The start of the race, with two EF-18Ms flying in the background left over the main runway.

The first runners passing by the EF-18M C.15-65 12-23.

A photo showing the nozzles and landing hook of the Spanish EF-18M.

The EF-18M C.15-44 12-02, from Wing 12, flying next to the track where the race was held.

The C.15-26 15-13 landing in Šiauliai. A civilian Airbus A-340 can be seen in the background.

Lithuanian military participating in the race.

A group of Czech soldiers on the run, with their national flag.

A team from the Spanish Air Force took part in the race, carrying the Spanish flag.

Another group ofLithuanian military on the race.

These Lithuanian firefighters ran with all their gear on. That has a lot of merit.

A group of US Marines also participated in the race. Here we see them taking a picture next to the Spanish EF-18M C.15-65 12-23.

Spanish runners taking a photo with a member of the Air Deployment Support Squadron (EADA) next to an EF-18M.

After the race came the concert, which unfortunately was waterlogged.

A young Lithuanian woman enjoying the rain with the flag of her country.

A young man with the Lithuanian flag opening his arms to the rain. It has been quite hot lately in that country.

A group of armed US Marines guarding the base under the downpour.

Covering himself with a teddy bear, in the absence of an umbrella. I think the poor bear is going to shrink his fluff...

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