US to Deploy A-10 Thunderbolts, Airmen to Estonia

Officials Say Deployment Meant to 'Assure' Allies

US European Command has announced today that they are deploying a number of A-10 Thunderbolts, along with a crew of 270 Air Force personnel, into the tiny Baltic nation of Estonia, a move they say is meant to “assure” allies.

Air Force personnel say the deployment is an opportunity to train with other NATO air forces, and that it will benefit everyone involved. This is just the latest in a series of US deployments centered on the Baltic states.

Those deployments have broadly been part of a buildup that’s intended to put more troops from the US and Western Europe into the NATO border areas with Russia, amid growing tensions and fear of a new Cold War.

The A-10 Thunderbolts are commonly used for bombing ground targets, and have been used often in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to these planes, an MC-130J Commando II, a spy plane, is expected to be deployed with them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.