Zelensky says Ukraine can ‘overcome the evil’ in Russia’s war
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The Royal Air Force have deployed Chinook helicopters to Estonia in a show of NATO strength against Vladimir Putin. The Aviation Task Force 3 has travelled to the Ämari Air Base with three Chinooks from 18(B) Squadron, RAF Odiham as part of Operation PELEDA.
About 100 people have been deployed with the aircraft, including teams from Joint Helicopter Support Squadron, Tactical Supply Wing, 244 Signal Squadron, and other enablers from the RAF and Army.
The RAF shared news of the deployment on their Twitter page, posting: “RAF Chinooks deployed to Estonia last week to support the UK-led NATO Enhanced Forward Presence.
“The Chinooks will be working closely with Estonian Defence Forces to increase interoperability and capability.”
Estonian Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur visited the Ämari Air Base last Tuesday to inspect the Chinooks upon their arrival.
Alongside the Ambassador to Estonia Ross Allen and a number of journalists, Mr Pevkur took a short flight in one of the helicopters.
The Chinooks also transported Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and other European defence representatives to a meeting at Tapa Camp to announce the Tallinn Pledge in support of Ukraine.
The Tallinn Pledge is a reaffirmation of “strategic and coordinated” military support taken by the defence ministers of the UK, Estonia, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania and representatives of Denmark, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Slovakia.
The helicopters have been put to work straightaway, training with Estonian Defence Forces, and flying NATO personnel who work in the Estonian Defence Forces Tallinn Headquarters.
This has also allowed Estonian members of the public to see the aircraft in action.
The deployed personnel have also completed the Cold Weather Operator Course to enable them to keep working through the harsh Estonian winter.
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The aim of the deployment is to fulfil the bilateral agreement signed by Ben Wallace and Hanno Pevkur last November to help bolster defence and security across the Baltic states alongside the NATO enhanced Forward Presence.
Aviation Task Force 3 is due to be in Estonia until the end of next month.
Further deployments of rotary aircraft will follow later in the year.
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