Typhoon jets based in Estonia scrambled half a dozen times as part of the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission.
Four Typhoon are on station at Ämari Air Base in Estonia as 140 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) of the Royal Air Force takes its turn on the NATO mission to secure the skies above the Baltic States.
The United Kingdom assumed control of the mission at Amari on April the 28th from the Belgian Air Force, which had been stationed there since January the 7th this year.
Belgium carried out their operations using four F-16 fighter planes.
The RAF has shown it will respond rapidly to Russian aggression underlining our commitment to our Nato allies.
The officer commanding 140 Expeditionary Air Wing, Wing Commander Gordon Melville, said:
We have proven our ability and resolve to police Nato’s airspace and will continue to secure the skies over the Baltic states every hour of every day.
According to NATO:
“Safeguarding the integrity of Alliance members’ sovereign airspace is a peacetime task contributing to NATO’s collective defence. Longstanding Air Policing involves Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) (QRA(I)) aircraft from NATO nations that consistently respond to aircraft that operate in an unidentified, unusual or unsafe manner. Existing military and civilian agreements ensure seamless Air Policing operations across NATO members’ airspace and guarantee security to Alliance members.
NATO Air Policing requires an Air Surveillance and Control System (ASACS), an Air Command and Control (Air C2) structure and QRA(I) aircraft to be available on a 24/7 basis.
The NATO Air Policing mission is executed by two Combined Air Operation Centres located in Torrejon, Spain and Uedem, Germany under the supervision of the Allied Air Command Headquarters, located at Ramstein Air Base, Germany).
NATO Air Policing is a routine and fundamental example of how NATO provides security to its members.”