Theater Security Package Deploys to Estonia
Twelve F-16 Fighting Falcons from the Ohio Air National Guard landed at Amari Air Base, Estonia, Jan. 14.
F-16s from the 180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard, park on the ramp at Amari Air Base, Estonia, after arriving January 14th, 2018. The twelve F-16s are part of a theater security package that highlights the U.S.’s ability to deploy fighter aircraft in support of our partners and allies in the European theater, and around the world. (DoD photo by MC3 Cody Hendrix)
2 photos: USAF deploys theater security package to Estonia
Photo 1 of 2: F-16s from the 180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard, park on the ramp at Amari Air Base, Estonia, after arriving January 14th, 2018. The twelve F-16s are part of a theater security package that highlights the U.S.’s ability to deploy fighter aircraft in support of our partners and allies in the European theater, and around the world. (DoD photo by MC3 Cody Hendrix) Download full-resolution version
U.S. Airmen get ready to receive the supplies from a C-5 Galaxy cargo plane that were delivered in support of the Theater Security Package 18.1, Jan. 8, 2018. This TSP highlights the U.S.’s ability to deploy fighter aircraft to support our partners and allies in the European theater and around the world. (DoD photo by MC3 Cody Hendrix)
2 photos: USAF deploys theater security package to Estonia
Photo 2 of 2: U.S. Airmen get ready to receive the supplies from a C-5 Galaxy cargo plane that were delivered in support of the Theater Security Package 18.1, Jan. 8, 2018. This TSP highlights the U.S.’s ability to deploy fighter aircraft to support our partners and allies in the European theater and around the world. (DoD photo by MC3 Cody Hendrix) Download full-resolution version
F-16s from the 180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard, park on the ramp at Amari Air Base, Estonia, after arriving January 14th, 2018. The twelve F-16s are part of a theater security package that highlights the U.S.’s ability to deploy fighter aircraft in support of our partners and allies in the European theater, and around the world. (DoD photo by MC3 Cody Hendrix)
U.S. Airmen get ready to receive the supplies from a C-5 Galaxy cargo plane that were delivered in support of the Theater Security Package 18.1, Jan. 8, 2018. This TSP highlights the U.S.’s ability to deploy fighter aircraft to support our partners and allies in the European theater and around the world. (DoD photo by MC3 Cody Hendrix)

AMARI AIR BASE, Estonia — Twelve F-16 Fighting Falcons from the Ohio Air National Guard landed at Amari Air Base, Estonia, Jan. 14, as part of a Theater Security Package in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. In addition to 12 Fighting Falcons, the U.S. 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 Lt. Col. 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.”

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.

According to Barasch, TSPs are just one of the ways the U.S. shows its commitment to NATO allies and sends a clear message that the U.S. is serious about conflict deterrence. “A Theater Security Package is one of the most visible ways of showing that the U.S. means business, and we are ready to cooperate together with the U.S. forces,” Valge said.

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