The Royal Air Force will be returning to Estonia in 2019 to conduct the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission, the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson MP has announced. In addition, the RAF will also conduct NATO Air Policing in Iceland for the first time during 2019. These new UK deployments acknowledges the important alliance to Europe’s defence, stability and security.
The Estonia deployment will see four RAF Typhoons return to Estonia, to conduct the Air Policing mission, it will be the first time since 2016 that the RAF have conducted this mission. Later in the year the Typhoons will patrol Icelandic skies.
These deployments will allow the UK to work closely with allies to deter aerial threats to Euro Atlantic security. The mission will also provide the RAF with unique opportunities to test its skills in different environments.
As part of NATO’s Air Policing measures, which see NATO fighter jets ready to react 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, the UK currently has four RAF Typhoons deployed to Mihail Kog?lniceanu Airbase in Romania supporting security in the South and the Black Sea region.
The Defence Secretary was speaking at the NATO Defence Ministerial in Brussels, the last ahead of the NATO Summit in July