TALLINN (Sputnik) – Twelve F-16 fighting aircraft of the US State of Ohio Air National Guard arrived in Estonia on Sunday in order to take part in the multinational military exercise, the Estonian Defense Forces Headquarters said in a statement.
The fighter aircraft of the 112th Fighter Squadron took off from Ohio’s Toledo Air National Guard Base and landed at the Amari Air Base located southwest of the Estonian capital of Tallinn.
“One of the goals of the forthcoming drills is to hone the skills of large-scale air operations’ conduction. The military drills will be assisted by air observers from Belgium,” Col. Riivo Valge, chief of staff of the Estonian Air Force and acting commander, said.
The military drills will last until mid-March. The manoeuvres will be carried out in special training areas intended for these purposes on the islands in western Estonia at a height not less than 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles).
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced earlier, that the alliance would maintain an increased military presence in the Baltic states and Eastern Europe “as long as necessary,” claiming that the alleged Russian threat was the main reason for the move.