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NATO forces train in the Baltic skies


On September 30 - October 1 the 19th Baltic Regional Training Event (BRTE XIX) is organised by Allied Air Command Ramstein, Germany, in the airspace of the Baltic States. Air forces of the Baltic States are training side by side with air capabilities of NATO and partner nations – Canada, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland, at the air training event hosted by Estonia.


BRTE XIX will focus on interoperability of air forces and coordination of procedures, and will provide training situations for static NATO Air Command and Control Units and for training allied air contingents deployed on the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission to complete operations in the Baltic airspace.


The Joint Control and Reporting Centre in Karmėlava which provides command and control of air capability operations, the air contingent of the Portuguese Air Force with F-16 Fighting Falcons and the air contingent of the Royal Canadian Air Force with F-18 Hornets, both of the latter conducting the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission from the Lithuanian Air Forces Base in Šiauliai, are representing the Lithuanian Air Force at BRTE XIX.


The training event also involves L-39s and An-2s of the Estonian Air Force, and military aircraft of Germany and the Netherlands deployed at Amari Airbase (Estonia) and Malbork (Poland) respectively to strengthen the Baltic Air Policing Mission, and a KC-135 of the U.S. Air Force.


The Baltic Air Training Event is also attended by military air personnel of NATO partner countries, Finland and Sweden, with F-18 Hornet and JAS-39 Gripen respectively.


BRTEs are held to ensure NATO visibility in the region, commitments to collective defence, and trust and solidarity among Alliance and partner countries.


BRTEs are normally held in the Baltic airspace three times per year. The first and the last of the three allow the participating contingents to coordinate their actions with air forces of allied and partner nations, while the second BRTE helps improving air-to-ground communication.


BRTEs demonstrate NATO commitments to collective defence, Alliance solidarity and trust, and provide an opportunity for NATO members and partners for working and training together.


The Baltic Regional Training Events are conducted in coordination with relevant civilian institutions and departments. Partnership for Peace countries are also invited to take part in BRTEs.


Photo credit: Antanas Gedrimas

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