The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has deployed its Chinook CH-47F helicopters to support Nato’s enhanced forward presence (EFP) in the Baltic region.
Based at RAF Odiham, the RAF’s Chinooks from 27 Squadron have already arrived at the Amari Air Base (AB) in Estonia.
As part of this UK-led Nato EFP, the deployed helicopters will support the British Army’s 2 Rifles and Royal Welsh battlegroups.
During the course of its deployment in Estonia, the RAF’s Chinooks will enhance the reach and agility of the Nato battlegroups by transporting equipment and personnel around for various exercises in Finland and the Baltic States.
The Chinook Force conducted a familiarisation event on 12 July to demonstrate the capabilities of the RAF’s helicopters for the allied forces.
Apart from Chinooks, the French Mirage 2000, F-35 fighter jets from the US, and Belgian F-16 Fighting Falcons are also operating from the Amari AB in Estonia, as part of Nato’s Air Shielding mission.
Aviation Task Force 3 officer commanding wing commander Butler said: “The Chinook Force relishes the opportunity to work alongside Nato and facilitate the essential training being conducted by the EFP battlegroup.
“The media day on the 12th was a great opportunity to showcase some of the Chinook’s capabilities and demonstrate our support for the Nato mission.”
The latest deployment aims to provide an opportunity for the RAF’s helicopters to train with the forces of various allied and partner nations.
Furthermore, the deployment will allow the Chinook crew to learn how to operate effectively in the Baltic Region.
The Chinook helicopters are capable of transporting 10t of equipment and up to 40 troops. It can travel at a maximum speed of 300kph.