Photo of Secretary General of NATO aircraft escorted by Dutch F-16s over the Baltic enroute to Estonia

This is what is what a HVAAE (High Value Air Asset Escort) looks like from inside the plane being escorted!

On Nov. 20, Secretary General of NATO, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg, visited Estonia as part of a tour of the Baltic States.

Before arriving at Estonia’s Ämari Airbase the Stoltenberg aircraft was accompanied and escorted by Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s based at Malbork in Poland.

The Dutch contingent, made of four F-16 Fighting Falcon jets, is supporting NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission along with the Canadian CF-18 Hornets and the Portuguese F-16s based at Šiauliai in Lithuania and the German Eurofighter Typhoons based at Ämari

“[…] the presence or jets and troops from many nations demonstrates the resolve of all allies to stand with the Baltic nations. All for one. One for all,” he said.

The sort-of HVAAE mission flown by the Dutch F-16 was rather symbolic, since there was no risk of any air threat to the NATO VIP flight. Still, it was an opportunity to get some nice photographs, as the one you can see on top of this article.

NATO fighter jets deployed in the Baltic Region have frequently been scrambled to investigate and escort Russian Air Force planes in the area.

Image credit: NATO


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.