Helena Carreiras was speaking to the Defence parliamentary commission, at the Assembleia da República, being questioned by Chega deputy Pedro Pessanha about why Portugal hadn’t appeared on the list of participant countries in the biggest yet aerial defence exercise in NATO history, which will run until June 23rd in Germany.

“Portugal has taken part in every NATO exercise and this one is no exception,” she responded. “The Portuguese jets in Lithuania doing air policing will be participating in the exercise, but a part of the mission is based on land, that was the reason Portugal won’t be appearing as a State, but I can guarantee our fighter jets will be taking part.”

Later, in response to the Iniciativa Liberal’s Rodrigo Saraiva, Helena Carreiras specified that out of the four fighter jets currently in Lithuania, two F-16s will take part in the exercise.

This NATO exercise will gather 10 000 participants and 220 jets from 25 countries. It’ll be coordinated by the Luftwaffe, Germany’s Air Force, and will see participation from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Croatia, Denmark, Slovenia, the USA, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, the UK, Romania, Turkey, Sweden and Japan.