TALLINN, November 13 (Sputnik) – Two US Air Force F-16 fighter jets are scheduled to start military drills in Estonian airspace Thursday, the country's Defense Forces announced.
For two days, the American fighters and Estonian air traffic controllers will conduct flights in Harju County in the northern part of the county, according to a statement published Wednesday on the website of the Estonian Defense Forces.
"The American allies with its modern military equipment contribute to the protection of the Estonian airspace. For our part, we provide good air base service, a powerful radar and skilled work of experienced controllers. The result will be a high level of Estonian-American professional interaction," Amari Air Base commander Rauno Sirk was quoted as saying in the statement.
Four German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon fighters are currently stationed in Amari. They will remain in Estonia until the end of December. In addition, six Canadian and Portuguese Air Force fighters are stationed at the Lithuanian Air Force Base in Zokniai.
Baltic countries do not have the jets necessary for air patrols. As such, since their April 2004 accession to NATO, the security of Baltic airspace is maintained by NATO, which has planes based in Lithuania at Zokniai, located five kilometers from Siauliai. Amari Air Base started hosting NATO aircraft in 2014.