A pair of F-15Cs aided efforts to certify a second NATO forward operating base in the Baltic region, conducting barrier trials at Amari AB, Estonia, near the capital of Tallinn, according to an April 25 release. NATO fighters currently rotate to Šiauliai AB in neighboring Lithuania to conduct the alliance’s Baltic Air Policing mission. Given regional tensions with Russia, NATO is upping deployments and joint exercises with both Poland and the Baltic states, in addition to augmenting fighter forces patrolling allied airspace. Amari was recently modernized and is specifically equipped to host NATO quick reaction alert fighters, according to an Estonian air force fact sheet. “Making sure these [arresting barrier] cables are certified gives us another airfield to operate out of for joint exercises and other potential NATO operations,” said 2nd Lt. Bryan Butler, 48th Air Expeditionary Group maintenance officer deployed from RAF Lakenheath, Britain.
The Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness revised the Defense Department’s COVID-19 guidelines. The new rules clarify what’s meant by being “up to date” on vaccinations and when personnel must wear masks in vehicles, among other changes.