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Operations abroad

The Estonian Defence Forces have been active in operations abroad since participating in the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) mission Croatia in 1995. The first combat experiences for the Estonian military were gained from Iraq in 2003.

Current operations

As of 2015 Estonian Defence Forces partcipate in NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afganistan. The mission aims to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces and institutions. Resolute Support was launched on 1 January 2015, following the stand-down of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Estonian Defence Forces partcipate in the Inherent Resolve operation in Iraq since 2016. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to defeat Daesh and increase regional stability.

NATO Mission Iraq is a non-combat training and advisory mission founded on partnership and inclusivity as well as on full respect for Iraq’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
The mission develops a self-sustaining Iraqi training capability by training Iraqi trainers on a variety of disciplines. It also aims to help Iraq build and sustain more effective, transparent and inclusive national security structures and institutions.
The direction to launch a new training mission in Iraq called NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) was issued by Allied leaders at the NATO Summit in Brussels in July 2018. The mission was established in Baghdad in October 2018.

Estonian contribution

  • Staff officer

In 2020, Estonia plans to contribute to the NMI by deploying medical staff to the Norway’s, Denmark’s, Lithuania’s and Estonia’s joint training team.

NATO Mission Iraq

Estonian Defence Forces infantry platoon and staff officers serve in UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon since May 2015. The Estonian detachment is part of the Finnish-Irish battalion serving in Sector West in South Lebanon. The responsibilities of the Estonian infantry platoon include patrols, manning check-points and other peacekeeping duties. UNIFIL also cooperates with Lebanese Armed Forces.

As of March 1997 Estonian officers have participated as military observers in Middle-East with UNTSO (United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation).

Estonian observers are serving in rotations in Israel, Lebanon and Syria. The yearlong mission consists of patrols, manning observation posts and staff work. UNTSO was formed in 1948 to ensure the sanctity of the national agreements of Israel’s four neighbours – Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Operation Barkhane is an ongoing anti-insurgent operation in support of Africa’s Sahel region countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) in their fight against Islamic extremism. Operation Barkhane also helps prevent illegal immigration and human trafficking towards Europe. In addition to Estonia, United Kingdom transport helicopters and the Spanish Air Force component support the operation.

Estonian Defence Forces have been serving with the European Union training mission in Mali as of March, 2013. The purpose of the training mission is to support the Mali armed forces and assist the Malian government to maintain control over their national territory.

The mission is involved in supporting Malian armed forces via training and in an advisory capacity in areas covering leadership, military capability, rearguard support and personnel management.

Estonian Defence Forces serve in the United Nations MINUSMA mission in Mali since September 2013. The goal of the mission is peace keeping and support of the Mali government in helping to organize free elections, assisting in administrative capacities and protection of human rights in the nation.

Starting in 2015, Estonia is taking part in the European Union military operation EUNAVFOR MED with one logistics HQ officer in the operations headquarters in Rome.

The objective of the operation is to prevent the activity of human traffickers in the middle part of the Mediterranean Sea, between the territorial sea of Italy and Malta and Libya.

Central African Republic

  • EUFOR RCA 05.2014 – 08.2014

Mediterranean Sea

Mali

Horn of Africa

  • EUNAVFOR Somalia / operation ATALANTA 12.2010 – 05.2013

Iraq

Macedonia

  • EU military operation Concordia 05.2003–12.2003

Afghanistan

Kosovo

  • KFOR 11.1999 – 10.2018

Israel, Syria

Lebanon

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • IFOR, SFOR 04.1996–11.2004

  • NATO HQ Sarajevo 12.2004–06.2005

  • EUFOR ALTHEA 12.2005–12.2011

Croatia

  • UNPROFOR 03.1995–10.1995

Last updated: 12. October 2020, 09:19

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