The Baltic Air Policing mission is a point of focus for many European air forces, not least the Luftwaffe, whose Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 74 is currently manning the detachment at Ämari in Estonia.

Maj ‘Suit’ sprints up the ladder toward the cockpit of his awaiting Eurofighter for a training scramble.

A LOUD KLAXON SOUNDS and two Luftwaffe Eurofighter pilots sprint to their awaiting aircraft, tucked up inside hangars that provide respite from the harsh Baltic winter outside. In seconds, the doors to the ‘Q-shed’ (quick reaction alert hangar) are raised, the twin EJ200 engines spool up and the two live-armed fighters head to the active runway in haste. With full afterburner applied, presenting twin ‘carrots’ of flame, the jets are swiftly airborne and disappear into the lowhanging overcast.

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