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NATO Air Forces exercise Air Policing procedures during RAMSTEIN ALLOY 4

ŠIAULIAI,Lithuania - NATO’s two day live flying Exercise RAMSTEIN ALLOY 4 started over Lithuania on Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2017. Until the following day, Allied Air Forces will practice drills and routines that are required to handle standard situations such as intercepting aircraft in distress, search and rescue events as well as command and control procedures. Aircraft from six different Allies, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Poland, Lithuania and the United States participated in this tri-annual training event. They were supported by a NATO AWACS aircraft and ground controllers from all three Baltic States.

RAMSTEIN ALLOY 4 serves to exercise Baltic Air Policing alert aircraft as well as to enhance relations and interoperability amongst allied Air Forces. Currently, detachments of the Airforces of the Netherlands and Germany are stationed in Lithuania and Estonia, ready to launch if any aircraft is operating in an unidentified, unusual or unsafe manner. Air Policing is a NATO wide air safety and security measure. Designated jets launch in response to military or civilian aircraft that don’t properly identify themselves, have not filed proper flight plans or lost communication with Air Traffic Control. Exercise RAMSTEIN ALLOY 4 provides the opportunity to train these procedures and drills with multiple Allies.

"I would like to pay tribute to the airmen and women of all nations who have supported this important mission” says Air Commodore Paddy Teakle, Deputy Commander of NATOS Airborne Early Warning and Control Force. "Through their efforts we have and will continue to keep the skies above us secure and safe to the benefit of us all” he added in his statement to invited journalists.

On day one of the exercise fighter jets of both Baltic Air Policing detachments, of the Royal Netherlands Airforce, based in Lithuania and of the German Airforce, based in Estonia, participated in a COMLOSS training event with a transport aircraft of the Lithuanian Airforce. A COMLOSS event is a real world scenario in which an aircraft loses communication with ground controls and requires identification or assistance in the air. Furthermore participants trained search and rescue procedures around a simulated aircrew ejection, involving a Lithuanian Search-and-Rescue helicopter. During so-called practice diversions military aircraft conducted low approaches to different airfields to train procedures and cooperation with local air traffic control. A NATO AWACS aircraft provided airborne command and control of the training flights. On the second day of the exercise, jets from NATO members Norway and Poland are going to enter the exercise log with a tanker of the US Airforce, providing the opportunity to train air to air refuelling.

The exercise is part of the tri-annual RAMSTEIN ALLOY series, regularly held to sharpen NATO wide standards of Air Policing procedures and interoperability. It is a sequel of the successful Baltic Region Training Event (BRTE) series, conducted over 20 times until its renaming to RAMSTEIN ALLOY in 2016. Baltic Air Policing detachments rotating every four months provides the opportunity to train with several different Allies in each exercise.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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