New Belgian Air Force F-16 detachment left for Operation Enhanced Vigilance Activities in Estonia

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© Adrien Muylaert

On Wednesday, October 5, 2022, three F-16s departed from the Florennes air base for Estonia to participate in the NATO Enhanced Vigilance Activities (eVA) mission. This detachment with about 100 Belgian soldiers and six F-16s will guard the Baltic airspace and NATO borders.

A total of six Belgian F-16s departed: three from Florennes and three from Kleine Brogel. The Belgian detachment consists of 97 military personnel, including ten pilots, six F-16s and technical and support personnel, the majority coming from 2 Wing Tac from Florennes.

Their mission runs until the beginning of November 2022. The participation of the Belgian detachment includes training missions or armed missions. “For the training missions, we work in a multilateral framework thanks to the presence of other countries with their air component and the NATO Battlegroups deployed in the east. We work together in an integrated way. It’s a training opportunity that we don’t have every day,” said Lieutenant Colonel Pilot Henuzet, commander of the flying group 2W Tac.

The other type of missions that the detachment can participate in are the armed missions: the Combat Air Patrol (CAP) and the Border Patrol. At CAP, the F-16s can carry out armed interceptions if necessary. During Border Patrol, the F-16s patrol the eastern flank of NATO’s borders. In this way, they show their presence on the spot.

We are taking advantage of this opportunity to be deployed in a different airspace than we are used to operating in, to train our tactics and to cooperate with our allies during exercises to continue developing our interoperability,” said Major Frippiat, detachment commander, on arrival of the F-16s in Amari.

 October 6, 2022

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