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Spain takes over the command of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission in Estonia

Ämari, Estonia
August 3, 2023
  • In a solemn ceremony, the ‘Amber’ Tactical Air Detachment has taken the responsibility of reinforcing the allied airspace security by taking over the Royal Air Force.

The handover ceremony of the command of the Baltic Air Policing operation at the Ämari Air Base has been formalised with the handover of command by the ‘Amber’ Tactical Air Detachment of Spain’s Air and Space Force from the Royal Air Force, within the NATO’s rotational planning established to guarantee collective defence.

The ceremony was attended by civilian and military authorities, representatives of the Estonian Ministry of Defence, the NATO’s Allied Air Command, the Operations Command of the Defence Staff, the Royal Air Force and the Air and Space Force, among others.

During the ceremony, the Air Commodore Deputy of Staff support of the Operations Command, Fernando Martín Pascual, reasserted Spain’s commitment in the achievement of collective defence and shared security with our allies.

To accomplish its mission, Spain has deployed in the Ämari Air Base 8 C-16 ‘Eurofighter’ aircrafts, coming from the 11th Wing of the Morón Air Base, for a four-month period and under the operational command of the Operations Command of the Defence Staff.

The ceremony entailed the formalisation of the transfer of responsibilities to the Spanish detachment, which operates from last August 1. An A-400M aircraft from the 31st Wing of the Zaragoza Air Base will be incorporated into the Amari detachment from next August 12 until mid-September. Its aim is to support and reinforce the in-flight refuelling capabilities of the Eurofighters deployed to support the NATO’s Baltic Air Policing.

The ‘Amber’ detachment is composed of military personnel from the Air and Space Force, which currently has 130 people and is expected to increase to 165 on the occasion of the A-400M aircraft’s deployment.