Nato Jets to Conduct More Low-Altitude Exercises Today
French Mirage F-1 fighter jets will conduct low-altitude training from 13:00-14:00 today in southern and southwestern Estonia.
Dropping as low as 152 meters, the fighters will primarily train over the sea and away from densely populated areas, although some isolated villages and farms may be flown over, a Defense Ministry press release said.
Low-altitude exercises were conducted in late July as well.
NATO's Baltic air policing mission began in 2004 and is conducted by other NATO members on a rotating basis with French forces currently presiding. The jets are stationed in Lithuania's Šiauliai air base.
In May 2012, NATO's Baltic air space policing mission was made permanent, a move Estonia had long pushed for. It was reported last year that, in exchange, officials allowed for the development of a low-altitude pilot training program in the Baltic countries.
Reportedly, one of the reasons the Baltics are attractive for low-altitude training is their low number of civilian flights. Civil aviation has posed a problem for some allied countries, resulting in having to send pilots as far as Canada for training.