German air force contingent starts NATO air policing duties ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

NATO Eurofighter Typhoon in Luftwaffe service.
NATO Eurofighter Typhoon in Luftwaffe service. Source: (Luftwaffe/Marcel Wenk)

A German Air Force (Luftwaffe) contingent starts its NATO Baltic air policing duties stint on Monday, flying out of Ämari base, west of Tallinn.

The arrival marks the seventh time German air force planes have engaged in the role, defense ministry spokespersons said. The unit will replace the outgoing French air force, whose Dassault Mirage 2000-5 jets had been at Ämari since spring.

A welcoming ceremony will be attended by defense minister Jüri Luik (Isamaa), French air force chief of air defense and operations Gen. Vincent Cousin, German ambassador to Estonia Christiane Hohmann, chief of the international air operations center Lt. Gen. Klaus Habersetzer, and commander of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) Maj. Gen. Martin Herem.

While Baltic air policing rotations typically last four months, two German units will patrol Estonian airspace in back-to-back rotations, over an eight-month period. The units fly Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role fighters.

Previous rotations have included the Czech and Spanish air forces, and Britain's Royal Air Force.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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