Gallery: NATO E-3 AWACS reconaissance plane lands at Ämari Air Base
A NATO E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft permanently based at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen in Germany landed at Estonia's Ämari Air Base on Tuesday.
"The AWACS' flights which have become regular in NATO's shared airspace over the Baltic Sea region are one part of a larger program which NATO launched in 2014 in response to the changed security situation in Europe," explained Commander of the Estonian Air Force Col. Jaak Tarien.
According to Tarien, planned E-3 flights, together with the Baltic states' ground-based air surveillance units and air policing groups based at Ämari and Šiauliai in Lithuania, form an important part of NATO's integrated air and missile defense system in acting as a guarantee for the sovereignty of Baltic airspace.
Over the past two years, the alliance's AWACS aircraft have conducted periodic flights over neutral waters of the Baltic Sea as well as the territories of other NATO member states as well.