by Andrea Jenkins
23d Wing Public Affairs
9/22/2015 - AMARI AIR BASE, Estonia -- Twelve
A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and approximately 350 Airmen from the 74th
Expeditionary Fighter Squadron arrived at Amari Air Base, Estonia
September 21, as part of a theater security package deployment in
support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
The Airmen and aircraft, deployed from the 23d Wing out of Moody Air
Force Base, Ga., will augment the U.S. Air Forces in Europe's existing
efforts as part of OAR to conduct training with NATO allies to further
develop interoperability and demonstrate U.S. commitment to the security
and stability of Europe.
"This deployment represents something greater than just Moody," said
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Bryan France, 74th EFS commander. "It is an
opportunity for us to represent not only Moody, but the United States
Air Force, and it's a chance to come together and work with our NATO
partners to strengthen our alliances."
The benefits to training with our NATO allies are astronomical," added
France. "It's a very difficult piece ... to be able to communicate
effectively with one another on the battlefield and in the battle space
so being here in Eastern Europe to train alongside those military
partners will enable us to better operate on the battlefield together.
It also allows us to learn from each other which better prepares us to
operate together in the future."
During the six month deployment, the 74th EFS Airmen will not only
conduct routine flying training but will participate in several
exercises and training events with NATO allies and European partners.
"We hope to learn as much as we can," said Estonian Air Force Lt. Col.
Ular Lohmas, Amari Air Base commander. "Amari is a very young air base
and (the Americans) bring a lot of experience so we can learn new
procedures. I hope they learn a little from us too."
Both Lohmas and France agreed training opportunities like these are win-win for all involved.
"This is a great opportunity for our pilots, maintainers and support
Airmen," said France. "Both the United States Air Force and the Estonian
Air Force will gain tremendous benefits. It's really a synergistic
relationship that we gain when we are able to operate out of an airfield
in a foreign country with our allies. We will be able to brief,
execute, debrief together and learn those lessons and turn around and
reapply them the next day."
This TSP deployment is a first for Moody's A-10s and adds another chapter to the legacy of the historic Flying Tigers.
"The Flying Tigers have a very rich history of working with coalition
partners and nations that dates back to 1941 and we are going to be able
to further that heritage here over the next six months. Honestly, I
could not be more proud and excited to lead these Flying Tiger Airmen
during our first TSP deployment."