German Air Force begins Nato Baltic air policing mission in Estonia

4 September 2018 (Last Updated September 4th, 2018 11:54)

The German Air Force has commenced Nato Baltic air policing mission at the Ämari Air Base in Harjumaa, Estonia.

German Air Force begins Nato Baltic air policing mission in Estonia
The German Air Force’s Baltic Air Policing detachment in front of one of their Typhoon Eurofighters. Credit: © 2018 AIRCOM Allied Air Command.

The German Air Force has commenced Nato Baltic air policing mission at the Ämari Air Base in Harjumaa, Estonia.

The airforce took over the responsibility of Nato mission from the French Air Force, which had been conducting operations in Estonia since May.

Deployable Air Command and Control Centre deputy commander and Nato representative brigadier general Roberto Di Marco said: “We are united and resolute to protect all our allies.

“We will continue to perform the peacetime mission of Baltic air policing, sending a message of allied unity, solidarity and resolve to the three Baltic states.”

“Nato Allies will provide a single standard of airspace safety and security to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia as the Nato nations do not have their own air policing assets.”

During the current air policing mission, the German Air Force intends to carry out operations to protect the Baltic airspace for two consecutive rotations.

This will allow the airforce to deploy its four Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets and approximately 160 personnel in Estonia until April.

On 31 August, the lead role of the Nato Baltic air policing mission was handed over to the Belgian Air Force’s F-16 detachment from the Portuguese Air Force at Lithuania’s Šiauliai Air Base.

This month, the Canadian Air Force replaced a detachment of UK Royal Air Force jets to conduct patrols alongside the Romanian Air Force over the Black Sea.

Established in 2004, Nato Baltic air policing is a regional form of the alliance’s peacetime air policing that responds to any aircraft that travels inside or towards Nato airspace without complying to international flight regulations.

Through the mission, Nato Allies will provide a single standard of airspace safety and security to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia as the Nato nations do not have their own air policing assets.