Concerned civilians took to Facebook today to voice their apprehension about seeing NATO (U.S.) aircraft flying low above Klaipéda, Lithuania which is close to the Kaliningrad enclave of the Russian Federation.
Facebook users published this video, showing two F/A-18s and a single C-130 reportedly conducting tanker operations above the Lithuanian city. Several commented how no warning was given to the citizens for this low pass amid historic tensions between the Baltic States and the Russian Federation during the ongoing 2022 Russo-Ukrainian War.
Concerned Lithuanian citizens published this video of two U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18s and a C-130 flying low near Kaliningrad in Lithuanian airspace. pic.twitter.com/fwLytKFjWv
— Tessaron News (@TessaronF) July 7, 2022
As this publication reported in March, the United States Marine Corps deployed 10 F/A-18Cs of VMFA-312 and several C-130s of VMGR-252 to Lithuania in order to bolster NATO’s eastern flank.
The F/A-18C and D models, both flown by the Marines, are the result of a block upgrade in 1987 incorporating upgraded radar, avionics, and the capacity to carry new missiles such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile and later on the AGM-84E SLAM as well as the IR version of the AGM-65 (AGM-65F). The last F/A-18C was manufactured in 2000.