Ämari Training Base Announced
US President Barack Obama and Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas announced the creation of a NATO flight center at the Ämari air base.
After many speeches and warm words, no permanent NATO bases were promised by US officials, with the Ämari NATO air training center something Estonians can take to the bank.
Few details were revealed, and there is no information on cost, scope, participation or dates, but the training center will increase NATO troops in Estonia, with probably increase in air defense capabilities.
Obama said Ämari is the perfect location for such a center. Maj. Gen. Riho Terras, the head of the Estonian Defense Forces, said the center has been discussed with US top military officials for months and once complete, it will boost Estonian security.
The air base, which received a quick makeover ahead of the expansion of the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission earlier in the year, has recently hosted many military exercises and training flights.
It is currently unclear if the center would only hold NATO training flights or include Finland and Sweden, or develop into an education institution, similar to the Baltic Defense College in Tartu.