RAF Lossiemouth Completes Successful Air Policing Deployment in Estonia

Personnel from RAF Lossiemouth have recently returned to Scotland after completing a four-month air policing deployment in Estonia.


During this mission, the Typhoon jets intercepted a total of 50 Russian aircraft that came close to NATO airspace.

Known as Operation Azotize, the deployment involved quick reaction alert missions from Amari air base, with the pilots ready to respond at a moment’s notice to potential safety risks posed by Russian aircraft approaching Estonian airspace without a flight plan.

A Vital Contribution to Estonian Air Policing:

The absence of fighter jets in the Estonian air force made it essential for NATO countries to step in and provide air policing support since 2014.

The RAF’s contribution was highly appreciated by an Estonian commander at Amari air base, who described the noise of the Typhoons as the “sound of freedom.”


The UK air wing’s deployment proved instrumental in intercepting Russian aircraft on 21 occasions during a 21-day period, bolstering Estonia’s security and reassuring its allies in the Baltic states.

Dedication and Success:

Hundreds of RAF pilots and personnel worked tirelessly alongside allies to ensure the safety of Europe’s skies during their deployment in Estonia.

The success of the UK’s leadership in NATO’s air policing mission was highlighted by the interception of dozens of Russian aircraft by the RAF.

This achievement sent a clear message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that NATO stands united against any threats to its borders.

Handing Over the Mission:

Following the conclusion of the RAF’s deployment, the air policing mission in Estonia was handed over to the Spanish air force.


Despite the transition, the 140 Expeditionary Air Wing’s performance in Estonia was commendable, engaging in 12 major NATO and Joint Expeditionary Force exercises in addition to their air policing role.

The dedication and hard work of the entire force were acknowledged and praised by Air Marshal Harv Smyth.

Continuing the Mission:

Now back in the UK, the focus of the 140 Expeditionary Air Wing will shift to providing quick reaction alert duties, safeguarding the safety and integrity of UK airspace round-the-clock throughout the year.

The team’s commitment to protecting their homeland remains unwavering, ensuring the security of the UK airspace in collaboration with NATO allies.


The successful completion of the air policing deployment in Estonia marks a significant achievement for RAF Lossiemouth and the 140 Expeditionary Air Wing.


Their dedicated efforts and cooperation with NATO allies have contributed to ensuring the safety and security of both Estonian and UK airspace.

The continuation of air policing efforts stands as a testament to the collective commitment of NATO nations in countering potential threats and safeguarding Europe’s skies.

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