GALLERY: Spain hands Baltic air policing mission at Ämari over to UK (2)
A handover ceremony took place today at Ämari airbase, where Spain formally transfered responsibility for the mission to the United Kingdom. The UK forces will be stationed in Estonia until the end of August.
The ceremony was attended by Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, the head of the Estonian Defense Forces Maj. Gen. Riho Terras, British Ambassador to Estonia Christopher Holtby, and a number of high-ranking NATO officers.
The four Eurofighter Typhoons are from No 6 Squadron based at RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland.
The Baltic Air Policing mission was established in 2004, to assist Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania who have no airborne air defence capability of their own. The aim of the mission is to prevent unauthorized incursion into the airspace of the Baltic states and its most frequent duty is intercepting Russian aircraft and escorting them from the area. To the west of the Baltic states’ airspace is an air corridor often used by aircraft traveling to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad from territorial Russia.