UPDATED 1 SEPTEMBER 2014 | With the flight of a German C.160 Transall from Penzing in Southern Germany with cargo to Ämari in Estonia, the Luftwaffe has begun its contribution to the Baltic Air Policing mission. This NATO air defence umbrella of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is the coming four months done together with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF/KLu) and the Força Aérea Portuguesa (FAP).
The Germans will deploy four Eurofighter EF2000s to Ämari – where they relieve four Danish F-16s – and hold another pair on a 96-hour stand-by in Germany. Six RCAF CF-18 Hornets relocated from Romania to Šiauliai Airbase in Lithuania. This airfield will also be used by FAP F-16s. The RNLAF Vipers will operate from Malbork Airbase in Poland, where they relieve French fighter jets.
The new rotation will provide air cover, interception and deterrence from September till December 2014. Although the Baltic Air Policing has operated from Šiauliai since March 2004, the German EF2000s are only the second rotation in total operating from Ämari. This second base in Estonia was added after persuasive offerings from the Estonian government at a time that Russia was taking over the Crimean peninsula and displayed its force towards Eastern Ukraine.
Source: Luftwaffe / RCAF / Ministerie van Defensie / FAP