TALLINN, September 29 (RIA Novosti) — Air forces of NATO and the alliance partners will conduct exercises on Tuesday and Wednesday, practicing techniques of airspace protection in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with the headquarters of the drills located at Amari Air Base near Tallinn, the General Staff of Estonian Defense Forces stated.
The exercise will involve fighter pilots of Portuguese, German, Canadian and Dutch Air Forces, which are now patrolling in rotation the skies over the Baltic countries and Poland. Pilots from Finland and Sweden will also participate in the drills.
Air operations will be controlled by operators from Amari on the ground and by British Royal Air Force aircrew with the AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) system on board.
The BRTE (Baltic Region Training Event) exercises are held for the 19th time. The first exercises were conducted in October 2008 and since that time they have been organized every year in each of the three Baltic States.
Baltic countries do not have the aircraft suitable for air patrols, that's why since April 2004 (after their accession to NATO) airspace security is maintained in rotation by the NATO planes, which are based in Lithuania at Zokniai Military Airfield five kilometers from Siauliai. Amari Air Base became an additional platform for placing NATO aircraft in 2014.
Four German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon fighters are currently stationed in Amari. They will stay in Estonia till the end of December. In addition, six Canadian and Portuguese Air Force fighters are stationed at the Lithuanian Air Force Base Zokniai.