On October 28th the Ministry of Defence introduced the project for the development of Ämari Air Base, required for conducting air policing operations and receiving NATO’s assistance, and the Air Surveillance Division of the Estonian Air Forces to journalists.
According to the Minister of Defence, Jaak Aaviksoo, Ämari is one of the cornerstones of Estonia’s national defence. “The newly-launched three-year development project will soon allow for ensuring the protection of Estonia’s airspace by NATO fighters and for receiving large transport aircrafts. The Ämari project with other similar projects serves as a good example of practical co-operation between Estonia and NATO,” said the Minister.
The reconstruction of Ämari Air Base is one of the most important goals of the Ministry of Defence. Ämari Air Base is a very important and useful facility for Estonia with regard to future air policing functions. Our capability to ensure reliable Host Nation Support depends on the completion of Ämari Air Base, as once the respective facilities are available, our allies will be able to hasten to our assistance, should needs be.
The interceptor fighters, which ensure air policing in the Baltic states, could also remain at Ämari Air Base once reconstruction has been completed.
NATO’s infrastructure projects are financed through the NATO Security Investment Program (NSIP). The programme was launched in 1950 with the aim of establishing the infrastructures or elements thereof, as required by NATO member states. Airfields, information systems, pipelines, fuel storage facilities, harbours, military headquarters, radar systems, etc. are examples of infrastructure projects that are funded by NATO. The projects are financed through a common fund, which receives contributions from all the NATO member states, including Estonia.
PRESS RELEASE, OCtober 30, 2008
Ämari is one of the cornerstones of Estonia’s national defence