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 Aug 31 2020

Germany to Fly NATO Air Policing Sorties out of Estonia

RAMSTEIN, Germany - On August 31, the German Air Force Eurofighter detachment took over the augmenting role of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission from the French Air Force at Ämari Air Base, Estonia.

The French Air Force Mirage 2000-5 detachment, deployed at Ämari since last May, handed over its augmenting role in NATO’s Baltic Air Policing to a German Air Force Eurofighter detachment during a ceremony today. The second Air Policing detachment at Ämari takes place under NATO’s assurance measures introduced in 2014 as the Alliance’s response to Russian interventions in Ukraine and is aimed at reassuring eastern Allies and demonstrating NATO’s commitment and resolve.

LtCol Dussourd and his team have flawlessly executed NATO’s enhanced Air Policing mission here providing intercept capabilities, training with Allies and Partners and working closely with the Estonian hosts

“Collectively we remain vigilant and operational with Allies like France, Germany and Estonia and all other members of the Alliance,” said Lieutenant General Habersetzer, Commander Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) Uedem. “And we will continue to ensure peace and security for our people,” he added.

The 54th rotation of NATO’s BAP mission until the end of the year will consist of Italy, scheduled to take over from Spain in Lithuania, and Germany. Flying out of Estonia, the German Air Force will conduct the Baltic Air Policing mission for the entire region until September 8, when the Italian Air Force will take up its leading role in Lithuania. 

“This temporary arrangement to execute the BAP mission with one detachment reflects the flexibility of NATO Air Power,” said General Habersetzer. “My CAOC staff at Uedem, on behalf of Allied Air Command, as well as my staff of the German Air Operations Command manage the national fighter assets made available to provide an effective and efficient Air Policing capability in the region. I assure you that we keep the airspace over our Baltic Allies safe and at the same time demonstrate NATO’s continuous commitment to deterrence and defence in the region,” the General concluded.

As a long-standing contributor to the Air Policing mission in the Baltic region, Germany is scheduled to remain stationed at Ämari for another double deployment throughout the end of April 2021. This is the third time after 2016/2017 and 2018/2019 for a German Eurofighter detachment to conduct an eight-month deployment ensuring continuity of the mission and providing the German Air Force deployed operational experiences.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

The German Air Force Eurofighter detachment (front) and the French Air Force Mirage 2000-5 detachments in front of their fighter aircraft during the Handover-Takeover ceremony of the NATO enhanced Air Policing Mission at Ämari. Photo by Niels Juhlke.
NATO's representative and Commander of NATO's Northern Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, German Lieutenant General Klaus Habersetzer assured the audience that the Alliance will keep the airspace over the Baltic Allies safe and at the same time demonstrates the continuous commitment to deterrence and defence in the region.  Photo by Niels Juhlke
The German Detachment Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Sebastian Fiedler, receives a picture of two French Mirages 2000-5 as a token of friendship and inspiration from the French Detachment Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Joan Dussourd. Photo by Niels Juhlke

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