On Sunday, five Czech Gripen fighters, along with a 70-member contingent flagged off a new rotation of the Baltic Air Policing Mission, reports idnes.cz. For four months, the task force will fulfil the Czech Republic´s commitments to NATO by performing QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) patrols in the framework of the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS) to protect the airspace of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
The maximum strength of the Baltic Air Policing Task Force of the Czech Armed Forces in Estonia is 95. “It is the sixth international deployment of Czech Air Force Gripen to protect the airspace of NATO allies” says the commander of the Čáslav base, Colonel Petr Tománek. “The participation of the Czech Air Force in joint alliances such as this is a good opportunity to gain experience in an international environment," he adds.
As a part of this deployment, some Czech Air Force personnel will be sent home halfway through the mission, while some will join at a later stage. The Czech Republic task force will be operating from the military airport of Ämari, Estonia till the rotation concludes in December 2019. The participating Gripen aircraft and the task force will return to Caslav Air Base in the first or second week of January 2020.
Photo: Alan Warnes