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Ämari Air Base

The Ämari Air Base is one of the two tactical military units of the Estonian Defence Forces under the command of the Commander of the Estonian Air Force, with the main tasks of airbase operations and organisation of aviation activities in the Estonian Defence Forces.

The Ämari Air Base as an Air Force unit was founded on 15 May 1997. Up until 2004 the airbase also housed a conscript training facility, but today the base is only staffed with active servicemen and civilian employees.

In 2008–2012 the Ämari Air Base faced a major overhaul of the obsolete base infrastructure. The construction works were carried out in order to link Ämari into the NATO collective air defence system. Starting from 1 May 2014, NATO’s air policing fighter detachment is based at Ämari.

On 30 April 2015, the Estonian Civil Aviation Administration as a national supervisory body awarded the certificate of an air navigation service provider to the Ämari Air Base, in compliance with respective national air regulations.

The main task of defence aviation is the training of the units of the Air Force and other services, organisation of support activities for various operations and the provision of professional assistance in public interests in accordance with the Administrative Co-operation Act. The air base is comprised of three groups and three centres and is commanded by an air base Commander.

The Base Operation Centre provides short-term planning of air base operations, coordinates and supervises the activities and resources of air base subunits. The Base Defence Operations Centre is responsible for the short-term planning and supervision of the required base defence activities. The flight group conducts air operations and training with the aircrafts at the disposal of the Estonian Defence Forces. It also manages and maintains the aircraft equipment. The Airfield Operations Group manages and maintains the air traffic area of the airfield and is responsible for the provision of air traffic control, flight information, alerting, navigation and meteorology services in the Ämari airfield and its vicinity.

The air base also includes the Air Force Support Group, which provides all of the actual logistic and communication support to the Air Force. The Air Force Support Group is also the manager of the excise warehouse of the Estonian Defence Forces and responsible for the provision of airfield services.

In addition the air base includes the Air Force Training Centre with its primary tasks of conducting junior non-commissioned officer training and in-service training in the Air Force. In cooperation with all subunits of the Air Force, the wartime and reserve units of the Air Force are prepared and trained for their wartime mission or for international military missions respectively. When required, the Air Force Training Centre provides training modules for other services of the Estonian Defence Forces.

In addition to the aviation activities of NATO’s air policing fighter detachment and national training flights, the Ämari Airbase hosts a large number of aircrafts of allied countries during exercises. The first larger international exercise was conducted on the air base in 1997 (Baltic Challenge 97). Since 2012, international exercises or exercises involving a large international component have included Kevadtorm, the Estonian–US exercise Saber Strike and Fighter Training Deployment, and the NATO air policing exercise BRTE. Also, Swedish and Finnish fighters have visited the airbase during joint exercises with NATO countries. The air base is also visited by transport and special purpose aircrafts of several countries. The Ämari Air Base is the arrival and departure base for Estonian army units in international missions.



Lieutenant Colonel Maanus Nigul

Commander of the Air Base

Last updated: 7. December 2023, 10:58

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