A US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt takes part in a joint training on a highway near Anije, Western Estonia. That reported by cnn.com
The maneuver in Estonia, a NATO member that shares a 183-mile long border with Russia and sits about 100 miles from St. Petersburg, comes amid heightened tensions with Russia.
These so-called “austere” highway landings were relatively common during the Cold War as military planners sought contingencies in case air bases were destroyed in a large-scale conflict.
But the Air Force has not seen the need to practice this type of landing in the last three decades.
The landing was part of a U.S. Army-Europe-led military training exercise, Saber Strike 16, which involves 13 countries training throughout Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. According to U.S. Air Force Europe, the goal of the exercise is to ensure that NATO and its partners “are ready for and capable of dealing with any contingency.”
Last week, NATO announced that the alliance would deploy four multinational battalions, consisting of about 1,000 troops each, to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. NATO jets also help secure Estonian airspace through the Baltic Air Policing operation.
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