Lithuanian air base highlights US investments in Europe that followed Russian invasion of Ukraine

SIAULIAI AIR BASE, Lithuania — The roar of a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet taking off echoes for miles around the peaceful countryside in central Lithuania, setting off car alarms and halting conversations among soldiers, who pause to admire its powerful thrusters and smooth flight line.

This westernmost Baltic nation, which shares a border with Russia and its ally Belarus, does not have its own combat jets. Instead, it relies on NATO Baltic Air Policing and German and Italian pilots to ward off Russian territorial incursions.

But before NATO could use this base and so many other Soviet-era military sites across the Baltics and Eastern Europe, upgrades were required.

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