Luxembourg will send additional funds to the Estonian government for the renovation of the Ämari Air Base in the country’s north.
The donation of 12 million euros ($12.9 million) will support infrastructure upgrades to the 80-year-old installation built during the Soviet era.
Tallinn gained control of the base in 1994 following the socialist republic’s dissolution. In 1998, the Estonian Air Force Surveillance Wing was launched and stationed at the site.
After Estonia joined NATO in 2004, the base was adopted as one of the alliance’s multinational bases.
According to Tallinn, the total cost of the Ämari base modernization will be $19.9 million. Work on the project will begin in March and continue for seven months.
“With this contribution from Luxembourg, we will improve the quality of our air base, which will help us better support and service allied fighter jets and our own planes in Ämari,” Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur stated.
“This is an excellent example of Allies contributing directly to the security of the whole region. We are very grateful to our Allies in Luxembourg for strengthening the security of Estonia and the wider region.”
Supporting NATO Air Policing
Ämari operates NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission established in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Authority over the operation rotates between the Baltic states every four months, with Latvia recently in command.
Due to the renovation at Ämari Air Base, Riga’s armed forces will take over the air policing leadership for nine months. Allied troops supporting the mission will be transferred to Lielvārde Air Base, Ämari’s counterpart in Latvia.
“The Baltic Air Policing mission is an essential activity to maintain peace and security in NATO’s airspace and Luxembourg is proud to already contribute via the provision of refuelling capabilities and now through the renovation of the Ämari Air Base,” Luxembourg Defense Minister Yuriko Backes said.
“With this financial contribution, Luxembourg is not only supporting our ally Estonia, it is also an investment into our common effort of securing NATO airspace and therefore an investment into our very own security.”