Guarding Baltic Skies

  • Feb 18, 2016 4:51am GMT

During the 40th rotation of NATO’s Baltic air policing mission watch Belgian Air Force F16 fighter jets cover the Baltic skies. The operation will run until the end of April deploying 4 jets at Amari airbase in Estonia, with 50 personnel backing up the mission.

The NATO video below includes: cockpit footage from Belgian F16 fighter jets showing barrel rolls and patrol flights; exterior footage of F16’s taxiing and taking off; footage of Belgian pilot scrambling to his jet and explaining the mission.

The Baltic air-policing mission is a NATO air defence Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) in order to guard the airspace over the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Air policing is a purely defensive mission. Since the 1970s, NATO has established a comprehensive system of air surveillance and airspace management means, as well as Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) assets for intercepts. NATO ensures constant surveillance and control of its assigned airspace 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

Video 2 by Chris Janssens features the Belgian airforce F-16 solo display by Renaud Thys on 14 September 2012 at the Sanicole Airshow in Belgium. Dramatic images of afterburner and flares along with some impressive negative g maneuvers.