RAF Chinooks from 27 Squadron at RAF Odiham have deployed to Amari Air Base in Estonia, to support the UK-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence in the Baltic Region.
The RAF’s largest helicopter will support the two Rifles and Royal Welsh Battlegroups. The aircraft will enhance the agility and reach of the NATO Battlegroups by moving personnel and equipment around on exercises in Finland and the Baltic States.
On 12th July, the Chinook Force conducted a familiarisation event to explain the UK's helicopter’s capabilities to the allied forces. United Stated F-35s, French Mirage 2000, and Belgian F-16s are also operating from the Estonian air base as part of the NATO Air Shielding mission.
This deployment is an opportunity for the RAF Chinooks to train with a wide range of allies and partners and demonstrate to international partners its battle winning capabilities. It will also give the crews a better understanding of how to operate most effectively in the Baltic Region.
The Chinook Force relishes the opportunity to work alongside NATO and facilitate the essential training being conducted by the enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup. The media day on the 12th was a great opportunity to showcase some of the Chinook’s capabilities and demonstrate our support for the NATO mission.
Wing Commander Butler
Officer Commanding Aviation Task Force 3
Chinooks can transport up to 40 troops or 10 tonnes of equipment and travel at a speed of up to 300kph, enabling numerous joint training exercises in the coming months. The Chinooks will demonstrate their capabilities on exercises with Portuguese Marines and French troops in Lithuania, Estonia and Finland.