ÄMARI, Estonia - Estonian and Allied air assets, participating in the Estonian Defence Force's (EDF) annual exercise Spring Storm, were on display at Ämari Air Base on Thursday, May 18, 2017, where Spanish F-18 fighter aircraft are currently executing NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission.
Besides the Spanish jets, the Estonian L-39 and An-2 aircraft, a Polish Sukhoi 22 fighter and U.S. Army AH-64 and UH-60 helicopters were arranged on an apron at the air base. Estonian and Polish JTACs also provided a demonstration of their capabilities acting as an interface for Allied fighter aircraft flying support sorties for forces on the ground.
During exercise Spring Storm the United States Army makes available attack and utility helicopters, the Polish Air Force employs Su-22 fighter aircraft, and the NATO Baltic Air Policing nations, Poland and Spain, are earmarked to assist with F-16 and F-18 fighter aircraft, respectively, provided their ongoing NATO mission permits.
More NATO participation in "Spring Storm" is provided by the Deployable Air Command and Control Centre at Poggio Renatico, Italy. A team is integrated into the exercise coordinating tactical command and control for air-land-integration.
"This Estonian-hosted exercise provides a great venue to practice tactics, techniques and procedures for joint operations at the tactical level," said the Acting Commander of the Estonian Air Force, Lieutenant Colonel Toomas Susi. "The mix of national, NATO and Partner assets participating in these regularly conducted training drills allows to build relations, learn lessons and prepare to operate alongside one another as and when needed. It underlines our readiness and resolve."
Spring Storm is conducted in the northern and northeastern part of Estonia from May 8 to 25 for the 15th time. Approximately 9,000 military personnel of the EDF – mostly army personnel – including about 2,000 troops from Allies Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States as well as Partners Finland, Sweden, Ukraine and Georgia.
Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office