The French Air and Space Force has temporarily deployed a Rafale fighter aircraft to support their German counterparts in performing Nato’s mission in Estonia.
The deployment was revealed by Allied Air Command (AIRCOM), which said that the French aircraft was deployed to Ämari Air Base in Estonia from Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania.
Following their arrival in Estonia, the French detachment received extensive bed-down and servicing support from their German counterparts.
This further allowed the two forces to carry out ‘Diverse Aircraft Combat Training and Deployed Operations in Contested Environment’.
The short-term deployment also enabled the Rafale jet to perform dispersed operation drills and aircraft cross-servicing scenarios with the German Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoon detachment.
French Rafale Detachment commander lieutenant colonel Jonathan said: “We conducted this temporary deployment to ensure our operations continued out of an alternate air base.”
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Both German and French fighter jets are deployed to support Nato’s Baltic Air Policing mission.
As part of the training, the French Rafale jet was required to relocate to Estonia to counter a simulated threat at Siauliai Air Base.
The scenario also required a limited ground support team from France to arrive at the Siauliai base to receive the deployed Rafale and work with German and Estonian counterparts to prepare the French aircraft for another mission, followed by its final return to Lithuania.
AIRCOM Logistics Operations Branch member lieutenant colonel Bruno Carreiro said: “With this short-notice deployment of French Rafale to bed-down with German Eurofighter detachment on a Nato mission, we demonstrate an important aircraft cross-servicing capability and create synergies.
“German refuelling, servicing and other ground support for French Rafale epitomise the alliance’s spirit of working together to protect our allies.”