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Sep 26 2023

Multinational training drills enhance air integration in Baltic region

ÄMARI, Estonia - During multinational training drills conducted primarily out of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing Air Base at Ämari, Spanish, Italian and Estonian air forces, controlled by Allied stationary and airborne control assets practiced aerial drills and quick reaction procedures.  

The third Ramstein Alloy exercise in 2023 took place in Estonia on September 25 and 26 and saw participation of Spanish and Italian Eurofighters from NATO’s Air Policing mission in the Baltic region, Estonian M-28 transport aircraft and SAR helicopter as well as Estonian Control and Reporting Centre and a NATO AWACS plane.

The exercise is a valuable opportunity enabling participating detachments to achieve tactical training objectives during combined drills

Underscoring the NATO integration of Air and Missile Defence assets, the exercise participants also practiced base defence procedures with Latvian and Spanish ground-based air defence units at Lielvarde, Latvia.

An Estonian M-28 transport aircraft was in the focus on the two days of Ramstein Alloy 23-3 in Estonia as it was the training intercept target for Spanish Eurofighters. 
Photo by Manfred Reudenbach.
The SpanisH Eurofighter detachment at Ämari, Estonia, conducted COMMLOSS and Slow Mover intercept procedures two times with the Estonian M-28 aircraft. 
Photo by Manfred Reudenbach.
Inside the M-28 aircraft the Estonian pilots are getting ready to upon the signalling of the Spanish Eurofighter pilots to comply with instructions during Slow Mover procedures. Photo by Manfred Reudenbach.
The Spanish Eurofighter during an intervention of the Estonian M-28. The pilot it struggling to fly as slow as the transport to get a good view the situation. 
Photo by Manfred Reudenbach.

The two-day exercise was built around a training intercept of a slow-moving aircraft which lost communications while flying in Estonian airspace; Spanish Eurofighters simulated the intercept of the Estonian M-28 aircraft and escorted it back to Ämari Air Base on September 25. The same participants executed a slow mover scenario on September 26 during which the fighter jets located and intervened the M-28 making it follow their instructions to return to Ämari Air Base. 

“Allied Air Command through NATO’s northern Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Uedem, Germany, prepares these drills regularly to allow the in-place Baltic Air Policing detachments - in this case the Italian and Spanish Eurofighters - to hone their skills and combined Tactics, Techniques and Procedures with other regional air forces," said Squadron Leader Craig Docker, the Ramstein Alloy project lead planner. “The exercise is considered a valuable opportunity for enabling participating detachments to achieve tactical training objectives during combined drills and deployed NATO and local surveillance and control assets to practice their control arrangements,” he added.

“We regularly involve deployed ground-based air defence units - this time for Spain and Latvia - in the drills, thus lending an integrated dimension to our objective to train as we fight,” he concluded.

Since 2009, Allied Air Command and CAOC Uedem has conducted Ramstein Alloy routine life-fly exercises, each time with several Allies showcasing NATO’s enduring defensive capabilities and commitment to safeguarding its members’ airspace in the Baltic Sea region. The series is scheduled to continue next year with three events and will again offer combined quick reaction training that further deepens relations in the region.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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