Estonian Defense Minister Sven Mikser said that four Spanish fighters will arrive at Ämari air base at the start of 2015 as part of the ongoing NATO air policing mission in the Baltic states.
Mikser, and the Commander in Chief of the Defense Forces, Maj. Gen. Riho Terras, met Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenés at the NATO summit in Wales, which started Thursday. They discussed continuing NATO’s deterrence measures in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
"Defense Minister Morenés said that Spain would as of 1 January send four fighters to Ämari Air Force Base to provide air policing support for Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian airspace,” said Mikser after the bilateral meeting.
Mikser said the fighters would be Eurofighter Typhoons.
Spain has previously taken part in the Baltic Air Policing Mission once, in 2006. Currently four German Eurofighter Typhoons are stationed at Ämari, the rotation started on September 1 and will last until year’s end.
The other air base in the Baltics, the Šiauliai Air Force Base in Lithuania, currently has six Portuguese fighters and six Canadian ones, ready to be scrambled.
Mikser, Terras and Morenés also discussed the situation in Ukraine and the major NATO exercise to be carried out in 2015, Trident Juncture 15.
The exercise will involve more than 16,000 Soldiers and will take place throughout Portugal and Spain during October and November 2015. Trident Juncture 15 will be the culminating event for many units training to serve as part of the NATO Response Force (NRF). The joint Baltic battalion BALTBAT will take part in Spain.