15:57 GMT +318 December 2017
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    A Boeing E-3 Sentry AWACS performs a flying display at the47th International Paris Air Show. (File)

    NATO Training Exercise Baltic Operations to Include US AWACS Aircraft

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    The 2017 iteration of the NATO BALTOPS will include a US E-3 Sentry aircraft.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The 2017 iteration of the NATO Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) will include a US E-3 Sentry aircraft, better known as the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), which has not participated in the exercise in 20 years, the Air Force said in a press release.

    "This year’s Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise will mark the first time in two decades that a US E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft will participate in a NATO exercise," the release said on Friday.

    BALTOPS, which began in 1972, according to the release, provides US AWACS operations opportunity to integrate with 13 NATO partners.

    "This is quite an endeavor, considering we all fly and fight with very different equipment like data links, which provide life and death information across the battle space," Lt. Col. Jim Mattey, the detachment commander for the Air Force Reserve’s 513th Air Control Group, said in the release.

    Participating nations, the release added, include Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the United Kingdom, Finland and Sweden.

    Radar and sensors on board the E-3 Sentry gather and present broad and detailed battlefield information, according to published Air Force documents. The information can be sent to major command and control centers in rear areas or aboard ships. It can also be forwarded to the US president and secretary of defense.

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    Tags:
    Airborne early Warning and Control System (AWACS), BALTOPS drills, United States
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