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USAFE Celebrates First Completed EDI-Funded Project

Army Lt. Col. John Bacon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Division, deputy commander, presents Lt. Col Ülar Lõhmus, commander, Amari Air Base, with the ceremonial key to the new aircraft maintenance hangar at Amari Air Base, Estonia. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversaw day-to-day operations for the construction. All facilities constructed under this project will be joint-use between the U.S. and Estonia. These facilities may be used for Theater Security Packages, Baltic Air Policing, and other U.S., Estonian or NATO missions and exercises. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Evan Parker)

Air Force Brig. Gen. Roy Agustin, director of logistics, engineering, and force protection, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, and other distinguished visitors tour the new aircraft maintenance hangar, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Amari Air Base, Estonia. In addition to the aircraft maintenance hangar, a hazardous cargo pad and squadron operations facility were completed, and a dormitory is scheduled for completion in March 2019. These new capabilities deter aggression, assure our allies, build partner capacity and contribute to our collective defense. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Evan Parker)

Air Force Brig. Gen. Roy Agustin, director of logistics, engineering, and force protection, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, helps cut the ribbon on a new aircraft maintenance hangar with Lt. Col. Ülar Lohmus, commander, Amari Air Base, Estonian Minister of Defense Jüri Luik, and Col. Riivo Valge, Estonian air force chief, at Amari Air Base, Estonia. Estonia is a key ally in Europe and a strong U.S. partner in fostering regional security and prosperity. Continual interaction between the U.S. and Estonia enables us to strengthen overall coordination during times of crisis or security threats. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Evan Parker)

Air Force Brig. Gen. Roy Agustin, director of logistics, engineering, and force protection, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, gives an interview to Estonian media in front of the new aircraft maintenance hangar at Amari Air Base, Estonia. The construction of the aircraft maintenance hangar and other projects funded by the European Deterrence Initiative, enable the United States and its NATO allies and partners to increase the capability, readiness and responsiveness of NATO and partner forces to address any threat and aid in deterring further aggressive activities. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Evan Parker)

Air Force Brig. Gen. Roy Agustin, director of logistics, engineering, and force protection, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, welcomes visitors and media to celebrate U.S. European Command’s first completed military construction project funded by the European Deterrence Initiative at Amari Air Base, Estonia. Activities funded through EDI increase the capability and readiness of U.S. forces allowing for a faster response in the event of any aggression by a regional adversary against the sovereign territory of a NATO ally. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Evan Parker)

AMARI AIR BASE, Estonia --

United States Air Forces in Europe and the Estonian air force celebrated the completion of joint-use facilities with a ribbon cutting ceremony at Amari Air Base, Estonia. The official opening of an aircraft maintenance hangar marks the first completed military construction project fully funded by the European Deterrence Initiative. 

In addition to the hangar, the $13.86 million construction project also included a hazardous cargo pad, squadron operations facility and a dormitory. The dormitory is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2019. The USAFE-led construction projects deliver increased operating capabilities at Amari AB, Estonia, and contribute to collective defense.

“When you look at the United States and Estonia, we share a common value for freedom, security and prosperity,” said Brig. Gen. Roy Agustin, Director of Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection, at headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa. “This allows us to train together, and respond to regional threats together, all by increasing the capabilities of Amari Air Base.”

Col. Riivo Valge, air chief of the Estonian air force, echoed those sentiments. “The maintenance facility is provided for the visiting units [Baltic Air Policing and Theater Security Packages] so they can have their own area for maintaining the aircraft and storing materials,” he said. “Everything that NATO is providing here is vital to helping police our borders.”

Valge went on to say, since the beginning of the NATO-led air policing, Estonia has hosted allied aircraft on standby 24/7, and that these construction projects help to facilitate those operations.

In all, more than $38 million in EDI funds are being invested at Amari Air Base.

Brig. Gen. Agustin stated in his opening remarks, “The $18 million in completed projects to date, and the over $20 million about to break ground, increases the capabilities, capacity, and responsiveness of this world class base for Estonian, United States and NATO allies to exercise and operate from as a joint team to address multi-domain security threats by a regional adversary against the sovereignty of NATO allies.”

In addition to supporting the collective defense and security of NATO allies, EDI funded projects also enables the United States to enhance the U.S. deterrence posture, increase the readiness and responsiveness of U.S. forces in Europe, and bolster the security and capacity of U.S. partners.

 “Estonia is a key U.S. ally and strong partner in fostering security, stability and peace,” said Brig. Gen. Agustin. “The sustained interaction and friendship between Estonia and the U.S. enables us to strengthen readiness and coordination in response to security threats and during times of crisis.  We will continue to build on the strong foundations of our common interests and sustain our efforts to increase capability, readiness and responsiveness.”