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NATO Air Commander Joins Baltic Air Chiefs’ Conference

ÄMARI, Estonia - On March 23, 2018, General Tod D. Wolters, Commander Allied Air Command, attended the annual gathering of the Air Chiefs of Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Norway, and the Partners Finland and Sweden held at Ämari Air Base, Estonia.

The region on the shores of the Baltic Sea is a special focus for Allied Air Command, as the command is at the very heart of coordinating and managing NATO’s Baltic Air Policing since the accession of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to NATO in 2004.

First, General Wolters wanted to express his "gratitude to the city of Tallinn and to the members of Ämari Air Base for the warm welcome and for hosting an incredibly engaging event.” General Wolters said: "The conference provided an opportunity for the alignment of NATO’s broader deterrence and defensive efforts as we train with and integrate National home defence forces with Alliance Air Power at large.” According to General Wolters, the exposure at this event "gives us a chance to transparently show cooperation as we continue the mutual defence dialogue with Allies and Partner Nations.”

"The level of activities we have going on requires close coordination at all levels, hence, our meeting today,” said the acting Estonian Air Chief, Colonel Riivo Valge. "On behalf of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Air Forces I thank the visiting Air Chiefs for identifying and supporting so many reciprocal and regionally relevant actions.”  

After a regional security update by the Estonian Air Force all participants presented their respective updates on airpower developments. The plenary session concluded with a discussion of upcoming exercises and events in the region. In the margins of the meeting, the Senior Enlisted Leaders of attending Air Forces met in separate session led by the Chief Master Sergeant of the Estonian Air Force, Master Sergeant Janis Jallai. The participants discussed, among others, enlisted core career management aspects and the executive-level senior enlisted education course planned to be established at the Baltic Defence College, Estonia.

Besides several Estonian Air Force and Army units, the Estonian Air Base at Ämari hosts a NATO air detachment augmenting the Allied Air Command’s Baltic Air Policing mission. At present, the Italian Air Force flies their Eurofighter Typhoon jets from here and the 24/7 peacetime defensive mission is led by a Royal Danish Air Force detachment of F-16 fighter aircraft at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, showcasing Allied solidarity and commitment.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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