Four Eurofighters of Tactical Air Force Squadron 71 “Richthofen” from Wittmund and one Eurofighter of Tactical Air Force Squadron 31 “Boelke” from Nörvenich took off from Germany yesterday July 27 destination was the Estonian air base Ämari. From August 1st, they will be responsible for securing NATO airspace in the Baltic States for nine months.
All four aircraft had been cleared for flight operations again after a safety warning had been issued by the ejection seat supplier a few days earlier and the machines had to be checked.
From mid-August, the Spanish Air Force will reinforce the German contingent in Estonia with several Eurofighters for around a month.
NATO Collective Defence Measure
Since 2014, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the existing NATO mission has been intensified. Since then, the Bundeswehr has also expanded its support for the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which it has had since 2005. Germany participates annually in the Reinforced Air Policing Baltic States for at least four months with a joint deployment contingent, i.e. flying units of the Air Force and support forces from the armed forces base.
The NATO Baltic Air Policing mission has been protecting the Baltic airspace since 2004 as a collective and defensive peacetime measure. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania do not have the means to ensure the integrity of the airspace over their territories.