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President Ilves at Ämari airbase: I acknowledge the members of the Estonian Air Forces


The President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, today paid a visit to Ämari Airbase to acknowledge and thank our Air Force members who support the organisation of NATO's air surveillance in Estonia and across the Baltic states.

The Estonian Air Force has ensured the excellent hosting of the air defence element of the NATO allies, which started last spring, stated the Head of State. "As a consequence of the changed security situation, NATO made a quick decision to enhance its presence in the Baltic states. Ämari Airbase has offered the allied units the best possible support," he added.

"Air defence above the Baltic states is a visible, useful and effective component of our NATO partnership," emphasised the Head of State.

"The fighter aircraft of NATO allies, located in Ämari, Estonia, and Šiauliai, Lithuania, will ensure the solid protection of the Baltic skies against an alien force," told President Ilves. "The 24/7 deployment of Ämari airfield last year considerably enhanced our security and that of the Baltic sea region in general."

Thanks to the radar of the Estonian Air Force, the observance of aircraft flying without transponders will be ensured; this is important to ensure the safety of civil aviation.

President Ilves also met with the air force members of the Kingdom of Spain, who are currently fulfilling their NATO air defence rota in the air security mission to Ämari. The Head of State thanked them for their decision to come to Estonia.

The President of the Republic, who is also the highest commander of the national defence, was accompanied at Ämari Airbase by the Commander of the Estonian Air Force, Colonel Jaak Tarien, Commander of Ämari Airbase, Lieutenant Colonel Rauno Sirk and acting Commander of Ämari Air Surveillance Division, Captain Lauri Kuusekänd.

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