“As unrest has escalated in the near vicinity of the Baltic States, NATO has augmented the Baltic Air Policing mission with additional warplanes to be ensuring our security even stronger. That is why this BRTE is not only an evident proof of Alliance solidarity and commitments but also an opportunity for Lithuanian military to refurbish their knowledge and interoperability with allies and partners,” Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas says.
The air training event will involve F-15C Eagle of the U.S. Air Force currently deployed on NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission, JAS-39 Gripen aircraft of the Swedish Air Force, C-27J Spartan transport aircraft and Mi-8 helicopter of the Lithuanian Air Force. Furthermore, NATO Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft based in Germany and U.S. KC-135R air refuelling aircraft are expected to join the exercise.
The training event will include low-altitude flights in Palanga and Vilnius airports in order to improve the corresponding procedures and to train cooperation with civilian airports.
The Baltic Regional Training Event (BRTE) has already been arranged for five years in succession by Headquarters Allied Air Command (COM AIRCOM) Ramstein and Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem (CAOC Uedem).
Usually, three BRTEs are organised every year. The first and the third BRTEs of the same year cover coordination of the actions between the participating contingents and air capabilities of NATO allies and partners. The second training event is dedicated to honing air-land communications procedures.
BRTEs demonstrate NATO commitments to collective defence, Alliance solidarity and confidence. Also, it is an opportunity for NATO member states to work and train side by side. (via Amb. Eitvydas Bajarunas)