TALLINN, Estonia - Royal Danish Air Force F-16s and Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons, currently conducting the lead and augmenting roles in NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission, took to the skies over Tallinn, Estonia, Feb. 24 to mark the milestone 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.
On Feb. 24, 1918, Estonia issued a declaration of independence from the new Soviet Russia. Always celebrated on Feb. 24, Estonian Independence Day (Iseseisvuspäev) is a public holiday and celebrated with fireworks, concerts, torchlight marches, parades, and parties. The flyover to support the parade in Tallinn consisted of a formidable formation of two Royal Danish Air Force F-16s and three Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons.
The Commander of the Royal Danish Air Force Detachment leading NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, LtCol Casper Boerge Nielsen thanked Estonia and the Estonian people for being NATO allies and friends. "We are very proud to be a part of this very important Baltic Air Policing Mission to safeguard the airspace over the Baltic Countries," he said. "Congratulations on your 100th anniversary Estonia and may you stay on your path of success for the next 100 years and more," he added.
"Our presence here in Estonia is the demonstration of the strong Italian commitment to support NATO," said the Italian Detachment Commander, Colonel Eros Zaniboni, whose Eurofighter Typhoon jets fly out of Ämari Air Base, Estonia, augmenting the NATO mission. "We assure safety and security of the airspace of every NATO Alliance member."
NATO Air Policing
is a peacetime collective defence mission, conducted to safeguard the integrity of NATO Alliance members' Airspace. The Air Policing Mission above the Baltic States illustrates the ability of the Alliance to share and pool existing capabilities. Allied Air Command oversees all Air Policing missions with 24/7 command and control from two Combined Air Operations Centres at Uedem
, Germany and Torrejón
Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office