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Mar 20 2020

Polish Air Force Executes NATO Air Policing at Ämari, Estonia

Amari, Estonia – For the ninth time, Polish white-red checkerboards have been protecting the airspace over the Baltic countries under NATO’s Baltic Air Policing (BAP). Since December 30, 2019 a Polish Air Force detachment of approx. 150 airmen has been deployed to Ämari Air Base in northern Estonia near capital city Tallinn and operated four multi-purpose F-16 Block 52 fighter aircraft from 32nd Tactical Air Base in central Poland. 

“The implementation of the BAP mission is a very important element of NATO's collective defence and enables continuous improvement of the interoperability of the Polish Air Force and our Allies,” said Detachment Commander Lieutenant-Colonel Krzysztof Duda, an experienced pilot with more than 2,000 flying hours on training and combat aircraft.

Implementing the BAP mission is a very important element of NATO's collective defence and enables interoperability

“We have already completed nearly 80 missions and many tactical training intercepts over the Baltic countries. Polish navigators are performing tasks in the Baltic Control and Reporting Center in Tallinn further honing cooperation with the Estonian Air Force,” Colonel Duda emphasized adding that Polish F-16 fighters also conduct training flights practicing Close Air Support missions in support of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle Groups in the Baltic States.

Polish technicians conduct systematic refresher training with their Estonian colleagues and emergency services to exercise and practice emergency and rescue procedures for the F-16 fighter aircraft. Photo courtesy Polish Air Force

Flawless maintenance of the jets is just as important as the pilot’s training to maintain operational readiness and accomplish the flying mission.

“My team is taking care of this task so our pilots can always be sure that their jets are operational and ready to launch,” said the detachment’s Maintenance Group Commander. “We provide constant maintenance of aircraft and immediately remove faults should they occur,” he added.

Cooperation with the Estonian airfield personnel is another area of interoperability which ensures smooth conduct of the Allied mission. Polish technicians conduct systematic refresher training with their Estonian colleagues about compliance with Foreign Object Damage rules and emergency and rescue procedures.

Flawless maintenance of the Polish F-16 fighter aircraft is critical to maintain operational readiness and accomplish the flying  mission. Photo courtesy Polish Air Force 

The Polish fighters at Ämari and the Belgian F-16s at Siauliai will continue together to conduct the NATO BAP mission over the Baltic states and the adjacent international airspace until the end of April safeguarding the region and cooperating with Host Nations and Allies on the shores of the Baltic Sea.


Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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