RAF Typhoon aircraft deployed earlier this week as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) have been working with British Army JTACs deployed to Estonia on Operation CABRIT.
On Tuesday 5th of December, Typhoon jets from 3 (Fighter) Squadron based at RAF Coningsby arrived in the Estonian Air Force base located in Amari to conduct exercises with the British-led NATO Battlegroup based in Tapa. This deployment is the third time the jets will have conducted training in Estonia, however this time the challenge facing both the pilots and ground crew was to overcome the variety of problems that working in the freezing temperatures poses not only on equipment but also on the individuals operating it and ensuring that everything all goes to plan.Operating in sub-zero temperatures the Typhoons have been conducting challenging air land integration training exercises with the deployed ground controllers, known as JTACs or Joint Terminal Air Controllers. The first sorties flown were conducted at night over a training area in eastern Estonia before returning the next day to conduct daylight simulated air strikes and also ‘show of force’ low passes.
The NATO eFP battlegroup in Estonia, BG EST, is currently formed around 1st Battalion the Royal Welsh Regiment. In addition to mechanised infantry, the British Army contribtion includes main battle tanks, artillery, engineer and logistic assets.