The U.S. Air Force 492nd Fighter Squadron successfully completed a BAK-14 certification and close air support training with Estonian Joint Terminal Attack Controllers, Nov. 2, at Amari Air Base, Estonia.
The Madhatters tested the airfield’s BAK-14 cable arresting system, which is used to safely bring fighter aircraft to a stop in the event of an emergency. An F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 492nd FS executed a high-speed taxi and was successfully stopped by the cable arresting system.
“A team comprising of Estonian, U.S., and German barrier technicians inspected the BAK-14 to ensure it performed as advertised,” said the 492nd FS director of operations. “From preparation to execution, the Estonian Air Force personnel at Amari AB provided world-class support to enable our mission.”
The system was paid for with FY16 European Deterrence Initiative funding. Activities funded through EDI increase the capability and readiness of U.S. forces allowing for a faster response in the event of any aggression by a regional adversary against the sovereign territory of a NATO ally.
“Since the region has a limited amount of close air support capable fighters, it can be very difficult for the Estonian JTACs to maintain their required currencies,” said the 492nd FS DO. “Despite that obstacle, they were very proficient and effective using NATO –standard procedures. The end result was excellent integration training for our F-15E aircrew as well as improved readiness for the Estonian JTACs.”
Estonia is a key NATO ally in Europe and a strong U.S. partner in fostering regional security and prosperity. Continual interaction between the U.S. and Estonia helps strengthen overall coordination during times of crisis or security threats.