Four U.S. Air Force A-10 "Warthogs" jets landed Monday on the remote Jägala highway in Estonia near the Russian border, the first such practice road landing in over 30 years.
The maneuver in Estonia, a NATO member that shares a 183-mile long border with Russia and sits about 100 miles from St. Petersburg, comes amid heightened tensions with Russia.
These so-called "austere" highway landings were relatively common during the Cold War as military planners sought contingencies in case air bases were destroyed in a large-scale conflict.
But the Air Force has not seen the need to practice this type of landing in the last three decades.
Retired Air Force Col. John "JV" Venable told CNN that these landings would be critical if Russia were to ever mount an attack on NATO's Baltic members.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are definitely "targets of interest for (Russian President Vladimir Putin) and Russia," he said.
U.S. attack jets land on Estonia's highway - CNN