A spectacular formation with fighters from three other NATO countries

The flight of Spanish EF-18 and Harrier II fighters with a B-52 bomber over the Baltic

NATO's Baltops 24 exercise, which takes place from June 7 to 20 in the waters of the Baltic Sea, is leaving spectacular images.

Fighters from Spain and other allied countries escort B-52 bombers over Europe
The Spanish Navy together with the US Marines in the BALTOPS 24 exercise in Latvia

Some of them have been published today by the DVIDShub.net portal of the US Armed Forces. This is a series of four photos taken by Corporal Elton Taylor of the US Marine Corps, probably from the rear ramp of an MV-22B Osprey converter plane from VMM-365 "Blue Knights". You can see these photos enlarged by clicking on them.

In these photos we see a formation of 11 planes from four different countries: Spain, the United States, Sweden and Turkey. In the center of the formation we see one of the strategic bombers B-52H of the 69th Expeditionary Bombardment Squadron "Knighthawks", based at Minot AFB, North Dakota, which is participating in the Bomber deployment Task Force (BTF) Europe 24-3. 11 days ago we saw here one of these B-52H flying alongside Spanish EF-18M fighters from the 12th Wing that are deployed in the Vilkas Detachment in Šiauliai, Lithuania, on a Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission of NATO.

Flying behind the B-52H we see two EAV-8B+ Harrier II Plus fighters from the 9th Squadron of the Spanish Navy, which are currently deployed with the aircraft carrier "Juan Carlos I" L-61 in that area, as we already saw here this Wednesday.

Flying next to the starboard wing of the B-52H we see two EF-18M fighters from the 12th Wing of the Air Force, deployed in the area in the aforementioned Vilkas Detachment. Next to the port wing of the B-52H we can see two other Harrier II fighters from the United States Marine Corps. They are deployed in that area aboard the amphibious aircraft carrier USS Wasp (LHD 1). They are distinguished from the Spanish Harrier II because they have a lighter gray decoration.

NATO Naval Strike and Support Forces (STRIKFORNATO) have published three more photos of this formation, without citing the authorship, although they show the rear ramp of an MV-22B Osprey, so they have surely also been supplied by the Marines.

In these images we also see the fighters that complete this formation. Flying on the port side of the B-52H, at the end, are two Swedish Air Force JAC-39C Gripen fighters. It is the first time that this Nordic country participates in a NATO Baltops exercise since its entry into the Atlantic Alliance on March 7, 2024.

Finally, flying at the other end of the formation, on the starboard side of the B-52H, we see two Turkish Air Force F-16C fighters.

Finally, yesterday STRIKFORNATO published four more photos that you can see below.

Two of the photos in this series show a Spanish EF-18M fighter from the 12th Wing, the C.15-70 (12-28), during this NATO exercise in the Baltic.

In the first of these photos we see an AV-8B(R) Harrier II Plus fighter from VMM-365 "Blue Knights" of the US Marines, specifically 165425 (with the number 52 on the nose ). On its ventral support it carries an AN/AAQ-28V LITENING target designator.

Finally, two AV-8B(R) Harrier II Plus fighters from the Marines. The one on the left is 165425 (52) that we saw in the previous photo. The one on the right is 166288 (55).

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