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Flightline Friday: one false move edition…… February 27, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, disconcerting, Flightline Friday, foolishness, non squitur, pr stunts, silliness, Society.
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This actually isn’t much of a Flightline Friday at all.  It’s more of a ground-pounder Friday.  But it’s a heckuva an interesting video.

It took a little while, but since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US and NATO have been making some very visible deployments to the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.  The Russians have rattled their sabers at the Baltic states, too, and those nations – with a long history of Russian subjugation, and very slight ability to defend themselves – have been quite open in requesting NATO forces be deployed in their countries.  All these nations are members of NATO.

Now, for a long time, there has been something called the Baltic Air Patrol ongoing.  Since these three ancient but tiny nations are generally too poor to afford their own air forces (of any account), NATO units rotate in and out of bases in all three nations periodically and basically provide an on-call Air Force.  These deployments are generally pretty small – usually just 4-6 aircraft.  Rarely does the BAP amount to even a squadron’s worth of aircraft.  But I believe the numbers have increased at least slightly of late, and all the missions are flown fully armed with live missiles.

Starting towards the end of last year, I also began to see reports of NATO (and especially US) land forces engaging in an unusually high number of “training exercises” with Baltic armies.  Again, these Baltic armies are very small and not terribly well equipped, so the US presence has been deliberately visible and quite highly publicized.  While the size of the units deployed for these “exercises” has generally been quite small – too small to be effective in resisting any serious Russian advance, one would think (but then again, the Russians have shown themselves to be, ah……less than impressive in their recent expansionary efforts, in terms of military performance (no one thought the Ukrainians would hold up a serious Russian effort for months, but they have)) – their very visibility makes their purpose clear.

And, apparently, USEUCOM and SACEUR are pushing to increase these deployments even more.  I haven’t heard any talk of permanent stationing of a significant (brigade and up) land force to any of the Baltic states, but these deployments have steadily increased from platoon, to company, and now possibly battalion size efforts. A battalion or two isn’t going to stop a determined Russian invasion, but it does raise the stakes immeasurably.

Which finally gets me to the video below.  Seen below are US Stryker armored personnel carriers parading (and I mean parading, flags flying and all) through Narva, Estonia, a city that sits right on the Russian border and even sort of “juts into” Russian territory.  While certainly no one expects anything bad to happen, increasingly along the western Russian frontier a situation is coming into being where “one false move” could start a war.  I don’t know what that move would be – you never do, in advance – and I would hope significant precautions are being taken to prevent such, but the Russians have been pretty aggressive along the Baltic frontier (with units mysteriously showing up in one of the Baltic nation’s territory, then vacating when found, there have also been a bit of exchange of hostilities) and one never knows what might happen.

So……..perhaps something to add to your list of prayers.  The last thing this world needs now is another armed conflict.

US vehicles start about ~3:00

More occurred the next day:

So now it’s being advertised that this was supposed to be for a parade celebrating Estonia’s independence, but the parade route was only 1000 ft from the Russian border and surely had more significance than that.

Comments

1. Richard W Comerford - February 27, 2015

I think most of the deployed forces were non-USA NATO to include an element from the Spanish Legion.

God bless

Richard W Comerford

2. Don - February 28, 2015

No competent American President, from Truman to Reagan, did anything as provocative as this. Obama is a fool, and a very dangerous one at that. He makes Carter look good. And Russia bristling with ICBM’s.

Something about entire nations disappearing and the errors of Russia.

Our Lady of Fatima, please pray for us.

3. John the Mad - March 2, 2015

Don:
Several NATO countries have deployed fighter aircraft to the Baltics and the NATO Baltic Air Patrol well exceeds four fighter planes. In August 2014, for instance, Canada deployed six Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornets (and one naval frigate to the region) to Romania, that were subsequently sent to defend the airspace of Lithuania. (Canada also has six CF-18s in Iraq fighting ISIS, although that is not a NATO operation).

Denmark, Poland, France, Britain and Italy have also sent four fighters each and the US Air Force has deployed a full squadron of F-15s. NATO air, naval and army contingents are training with Baltic and Romanian forces. Others may have deployed.

NATO is a defensive alliance and member states are obligated to come to the assistance of any member state that is attacked. Putin is regularly sending aircraft to menace Baltic airspace. It is not just Ukraine that is in danger.

By the way, I detest President Obama and he has emboldened Putin by his incompetent foreign policy, but it is Russia that is the aggressor here and we must not replicate the failed appeasement policies of the 1930s.

And I agree prayer, lots of it, are needed. Saint Michael pray for us and our military personnel in harm’s way.

Tantumblogo - March 2, 2015

The patrols are much larger now. For most of the history of the program, however, deployments were of 4 ac, typically, with occasional overlap but 4 aircraft was all that was providing cover for the Baltics for extended periods of time. I do think I tried to point out in the post BAP has been expanded quite a bit since the conflict in Ukraine got started.

John the Mad - March 3, 2015

Tantumblogo: I agree you pointed out an increase.


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