The United States Air Force has invested close to US$11 million in the Ämari Air Base, which will increase the base's capabilities.
The United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) investments, part of America's European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) funding, was completed in July and brought US$10.8 million (€9.17 million)-worth of improvements to the base, about 45 km southwest of Tallinn and home of the NATO Baltic air policing duties.
The investment will enhance U.S .deterrence posture, support the collective security of NATO, and bolster the capacity of America's allies and partners, BNS reports.
The new airfield infrastructure will support various types of U.S. and NATO fighter jets and boosts capabilities in terms of numbers of planes able to fly out of Ämari.
The USAFE and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers joined forces to construct a new tactical fighter apron adjacent to the existing runway, which will accommodate parking for 12 tactical fighter aircraft and turnaround space for transport aircraft, the U.S. embassy says.
This will improve airfield presence and readiness, including with bilateral and multi-national exercises and training, with the U.S. and NATO involved, along with the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF), going beyond the existing air policing operations.
Recent notable aircraft to already to have flown from Ämari include the F-35A Lightning II and the F-15E Strike Eagle, in addition to B-1 Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress bombers, which paid a visit earlier in summer.
The U.S. has invested over US$190 million in defense in Estonia in the past 5 years, the U.S. embassy says, and takes part in more than 80 military-to-military engagements between our service members each year.
Estonia joined NATO in 2004, with air policing rotations on-going since then. The other base in the region is at Šiauliai in Lithuania.
Editor: Andrew Whyte