NATO jets overflight to substitute for Independence Day military parade

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

This year's independence day events on February 24 will see a NATO overflight in lieu of the traditional parade, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Thursday evening.

Jets from the air forces of Italy and Germany, who currently hold the NATO Baltic Air Policing duties – with the Luftwaffe flying out of Ämari – will conduct overflights, and will be joined by U.S. planes based in the U.K.

This will take some coordination of course. Commander of the German contingent Lt. Col. Stefan Auer told AK that: "What we do is a little bit of coordination so they will not meet us in the air, where we do not want to meet them either, so we talk about take-off times and [flight] routes."

The Luftwaffe uses Eurofighter Typhoons, which have recently been practicing afterburner take-offs at Ämari. Lt. Col. Auer told AK that: "We usually train three times per week, also managed with the base commander here, so as not to have too loud take-offs for the people living nearby."

The Italian air force (Aeronautica Militare) jets will be flying from the NATO base at Šiauliai in Lithuania.

Coronavirus concerns mean this year's full parade is off the table, as is the annual presidential reception, though Kersti Kaljulaid will be making a speech to be broadcast by ETV, from Paide, where an in-house, audience-free concert will also go ahead.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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