Belgian F-16s back home after eight-month mission in Estonia

Belgian F-16s back home after eight-month mission in Estonia
Credit: Belga.

On Monday morning, four Belgian F-16 fighter jets returned from an eight-month mission in the Baltic airspace, landing at the Florennes Air Force Base in Wallonia.

In December of last year, the Belgian Air Force was stationed in Amaria, Estonia to safeguard the airspace of the Baltic countries on NATO's eastern flank (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), which lack combat aircraft.

With Russia's invasion of Ukraine in April, its mission was changed to 'enhanced Vigilance Activities' (eVA) in order to deter any Russian aggression.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Henuzet, the new mission necessitated a minor increase in the number of deployed military personnel from 65 to 72, who were primarily from the Belgian F-16 bases of Florennes and Kleine-Brogel.

Since 1 April, the four Belgian fighter jets have flown 944 hours in four flights a day, six days a week.

In doing so, they intercepted fourteen Russian planes over the Baltic Sea in international airspace.

They also carried out border and combat patrols, with one of those missions lasting eight hours, and the aircraft flying as far as Romania with the help of a supply plane.

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