NATO to conduct routine Air Policing drills over Baltic Sea

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

NATO will conduct exercise Ramstein Alloy 24-1 hosted by Estonia on April 22 and 23, 2024; about 20 Allied fighter and support aircraft will be practicing integrated Quick Reaction Alert procedures to further develop integration and readiness to protect NATO airspace in the Baltic Sea region.


“The first Ramstein Alloy iteration in 2024 can be considered a Super Alloy, as it involved 20 fighter jets from six Allies, two early warning and control aircraft and three air-to-air refuelling aircraft,” said Squadron Leader Craig Docker, the Ramstein Alloy planning officer at NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Uedem, Germany. “Having such a huge range of assets available enables integrated and multinational training including cross-border and hand-over procedures. These enhance achieving realistic training objectives that Allied forces have to apply on a daily basis to ensure NATO skies are safe and secure,” he added.


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On both days, the jets of the current Baltic Air Policing detachments from Spain, Portugal and Germany will be joined by jets from Finland, Poland and Sweden and Estonian support aircraft. Their manoeuvres will be tactically controlled by the Estonian Control and Reporting Centre, the German Deployable Control and Reporting Centre and two early warning and control aircraft from NATO and Türkiye. Three air-to-air refuelling aircraft from the Multinational MRTT Unit, Germany and Spain will participate to extend the range and endurance of participating fighters.

Flying operations will occur in Estonian and international airspace over the Baltic Sea and safety of all flights is a top priority.



Allied Air Command and the CAOC conduct Ramstein Alloy exercises three times a year to offer opportunities to the in-place Baltic Air Policing detachments for training with regional air forces. Previously focused on Partner cooperation and coordination, the exercises for the first time include Allies only as both Finland and Sweden are now members of the Alliance.

Ramstein Alloy 24-1 will continue demonstrating NATO’s commitment to the Baltic States, while maintaining a defensive mind-set in order to avoid provocation of any neighbouring non-participating States. Although the exercise does not present a threat to any Nation, it could be perceived as an encroachment on the Baltic sphere of influence.



Conducting a multinational exercise in the region is a legitimate regular activity required to maintain the currency of NATO air forces in executing collective defence tasks and enhancing air safety in the Baltic Sea region through standard procedures for identifying and/or assisting aircraft in distress.




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