Ohio Air National Guard (ANG) has deployed 12 F-16s along with 300 airmen to Amari Air Base, Estonia on Jan. 14, as part of a Theater Security Package (TSP) in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
75 Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, as the 112th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron (EFS) have been deployed too.
“Deploying our F-16s to Estonia shows our ability to fly missions out of different locations around the world,” said Lt. Col. Greg Barasch, 112th EFS commander, in the article Theater security package deploys to Estonia. “It also increases our capabilities and readiness by flying air-to-air, and air-to-ground missions with our local and regional partners.”
Before the F-16s could fly out of Estonia, there was a lot of planning and preparation that had to take place.
“We’ve been planning with the Estonian Air Force for several months to ensure seamless flying operations,” said Lt. Col. Brian Hoose, 112th EFS project officer. “They’ve been extremely helpful and there’s been close coordination throughout the entire process.”
The months of hard work and planning resulted in a fully functional forward operating location allowing F-16s to perform flying operations.
The F-16 squadron plans to fly approximately 60 missions per week, Barasch said.
“This TSP not only provides a deterrent force, but also shows our support and commitment to NATO, our regional allies and our partner nations in this area,” he said.
Col. Riivo Valge, chief of staff of the Estonian Air Force and acting commander, echoed these sentiments.
“This kind of cooperation shows that we visibly and securely operate together. When the tensions rise even higher we are able to switch to the operational mode without any hesitation,” he said.
The Air Force has deployed total force Airmen to Europe as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve for more than two years. TSP deployments to Europe vary in length and are supported with total force aircraft and Airmen from stateside units.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft. It is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. It provides a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the U.S. and allied nations.
Avionics systems include a highly accurate enhanced global positioning and inertial navigation systems, or EGI, in which computers provide steering information to the pilot. The plane has UHF and VHF radios plus an instrument landing system. It also has a warning system and modular countermeasure pods to be used against airborne or surface electronic threats. The fuselage has space for additional avionics systems.
Photo credit: MC3 Cody Hendrix / DoD
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com
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