Belgian F-16s have executed Close Air Support (CAS) training missions with NATO's multinational battalion based in Estonia during Exercise Bold Dragon. The opportunity for Allied Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) to work with Belgian colleagues builds critical relationships and practises communications between the Allies who are currently deployed to Estonia.
Training with our Army colleagues and alongside different Allies really highlights that NATO's strength is our shared commitment to collective defence
"Air-land integration exercises like Bold Dragon are vital for strengthening relationships and practising how we deliver multi-domain operations," said Maj Blancquaert, Belgian F-16 Detachment Commander. "Training with our Army colleagues and alongside different Allies really highlights that NATO's strength is our shared commitment to collective defence."
Exercise Bold Dragon provides key air-land integration training between Belgian F-16s and UK, French and Danish soldiers in the NATO multinational battalion 13-14 Apr, 22. Photo courtesy of the French Army.
Belgian F-16s from the 10th Wing, Kleine Brogel have been deployed in Estonia for 4 months conducting enhanced Air Policing and safeguarding the skies. Their deployment has been extended and will continue in the coming months, underlining Belgium's determined support to NATO's increased defensive posture following Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
"Exercise BOLD DRAGON has provided an opportunity to enhance our air and land integration activity as an eFP Battlegroup," said Captain Dorling Officer Commanding of the eFP Estonia Battlegroup Tactical Air Control Party. "Working with UK and Allied partner aircraft, Joint Terminal Attack Controllers have developed vital understanding and knowledge across a range of scenarios," she added.