Twelve F-16 Fighting Falcons from the Ohio Air National Guard landed at Ämari air base, Estonia, on January 14, as part of the latest Theater Security Package (TSP) in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Alongside the jets the US Air Force deployed nearly 300 airmen from the 180th Fighter Wing, and approximately 75 airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, as the 112th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron.
“Deploying our F-16s to Estonia shows our ability to fly missions out of different locations around the world,” said Lieutenant Colonel Greg Barasch, 112th EFS commander. “It also increases our capabilities and readiness by flying air-to-air, and air-to-ground missions with our local and regional partners.”
The F-16 squadron plans to fly approximately 60 missions per week during Theater Security Package 18.1, 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.
Colonel Riivo Valge, chief of staff of the Estonian Air Force and acting commander, added: “This kind of co-operation 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.”
The 112th Fighter Squadron ‘Stingers’, assigned to the Ohio National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing and based at Toledo Express Airport, recently celebrated 100 years of service.