RAMSTEIN, Germany – A multinational NATO evaluation team from Allied Air Command conducted a no-notice Tactical Evaluation (TACEVAL) on the Italian Air Force F-35 detachment based in Ämari Air Base, Estonia on August 25.
Assessors from Allied Air Command gauged the preparedness and capability of the Italian F-35 detachment and the Estonian Air Force who are their hosts, evaluating their ability to carry out the Baltic Air Policing mission along NATO standards and requirements. The men and women of the Italian detachment who have been deployed for the past three months alongside their Estonian colleagues at Ämari Air Base were given a no-notice evaluation. The assessors look to highlight the force's strengths, identify areas of concern, make appropriate recommendations, and ensures that best practices are shared amongst Allies.
The Italian F-35 detachment has been working 24/7 over the past three months securing the skies over the Baltics as part of the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission. Photo courtesy of Italian Air Force
NATO evaluators from HQ Allied Air Command assess the F-35 detachments ability to carry out its mission in accordance with NATO standards. Photo courtesy of Italian Air Force
NATO has an extensive evaluation programme and, as part of this, Allied Air Command's Evaluation Division undertakes the TACEVAL sub-programme for Allied air forces on behalf of SHAPE. This wide ranging programme is aimed at improving the integration and effectiveness of the Allied air forces conducting essential Air Policing missions across the NATO area of responsibility.
NATO is maintaining the necessary level of preparedness and capability to meet the challenges of a dynamic modern environment
"In future, evaluations such as this will be conducted to ensure that NATO is maintaining the necessary level of preparedness and capability to meet the challenges of a dynamic modern environment," said Lt Col William O'Brien, Allied Air Command Evaluator who led the TACEVAL inspection at Ämari Air Base.
TACEVAL methodology and priorities have been subject to extensive review to ensure that the programme remains relevant, delivering the desired effect. The team's visit to Estonia signifies a major step forward as it is NATO's first such evaluation of a 5th generation fighter unit supporting the Alliance's Air Policing mission.