Amari Air Base, Estonia. 13 May 2019. The Minister for Armed Forces the Rt Hon Mark Lancaster TD MP has visited the deployed RAF Expeditionary Air Wing in Estonia. The RAF personnel are deployed in Estonia as 121 EAW and are conducting Op AZOTIZE – the RAF NATO Air Policing mission in the Baltic.
After meeting many of the deployed RAF personnel including aircrew, engineers and other support staff the Minister was shown around a Typhoon and then visited the deployed Army Air Corps Wildcat and Apache attack helicopter detachment that are co-located at Amari Air Base Estonia.
The Minster’s visit coincides with the start of Exercise Spring Storm, an annual Estonian Defence Forces exercise, which deployed British military forces in Estonia are also take part in.
Explaining the British military role in Estonian the Minster said: “The RAF’s commitment to NATO’s enhanced Air Policing continues with Operation AZOTIZE here in Estonia. The deployment of our UK Typhoons is a clear demonstration of our commitment to the region and our NATO allies.
“The annual Exercise SPRING STORM brings together Army Air Corps Wildcat and Apache aircraft with our Typhoons to support Estonian and UK troops on the ground. The reinforce NATO interoperability and improve our collective capabilities. On Friday, HMS Westminster joins the air and land forces in Estonia underlining the truly joint nature of UK and NATO activities in the region.”
The visit concluded with the Minister sharing a meal with a range of personnel from the detachment as well at the Estonian base commander, the head of the Estonian Air Force, Wing Commander Dave Boreham the Detachment commander and the Officer Commanding XI(F) Squadron Wing Commander Paul O’Grady. The meal was prepared by the deployed RAF chefs from RAF Wittering based 3 Mobile Catering Squadron RAF and gave them the opportunity to show case their skills to the minister.