The President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has visited Royal Air Force and German Air Force personnel deployed to Amari Air Base in Estonia as part of the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission.
President Steinmeier was keen to inspect the work of both nations’ aircraft technicians in ensuring the sustained serviceability of the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets. He also visited the Quick Reaction Alert hangars where he spoke to RAF and German Air Force pilots to discuss commonalities in operational tactics and equipment. Prior to his departure the President had lunch with personnel from both Air Forces.
The message we are sending from here is very clear: NATO is ready to defend every square inch of its alliance territory. We stand by the Baltic states and assure them of our protection.
President of Germany
The RAF’s 140 Expeditionary Air Wing and German Air Force’s Tactical Air Wing 71 ‘Richtofen’ are currently conducting combined NATO air policing. This is the first time two NATO allies have conducted the NATO air policing mission as an integrated force.
Royal Air Force personnel are deployed on Operation Azotize in Estonia to conduct the long-established NATO Baltic Air Policing mission alongside German allies. The mission is being led by the German Air Force until the end of March when the RAF will take over as the lead nation. Joint missions will continue until the German Air Force departs at the end of April.
It was fantastic to have President Steinmeier visit Amari Air Base to witness the evolution of this long-standing mission in Estonia. He witnessed the hard work of RAF and German Air Force personnel, collaborating to ensure that the UK and Germany can operate as one team and effectively maintain NATO’s air policing mission in the Baltics.
Wing Commander Maccoll
140 Expeditionary Air Wing Commanding Officer
The UK and Germany are operating together in Estonia to bolster security in the region and enhance interoperability. The mission highlights the UK and NATO’s continuous and robust commitment to NATO security.