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Estonian Defence Forces and NATO Joint Force Command to open secure hotline

Wednesday, Commander Estonian Defence Forces Major General Riho Terras met with the Commander NATO Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum, General Hans-Lothar Domröse to discuss future plans and lessons learned in Steadfast Jazz exercise.

At the meeting, the generals agreed on exchanging operational information via a secure videoconferencing system between the Headquarters of Estonian Defence Forces and JFC Brunssum. The system will speed up information exchange and improve cooperation between the two headquarters. Similar secure communication channels have been established between most of Allied Nations and NATO commands for the purpose of more effective information exchange, harmonized cooperation, as well as better planning of exercises and operations.

Terras and Domröse confirmed that the NATO Response Force exercise Steadfast Jazz held this year clearly demonstrated serious cooperation between Estonia and defence planners of Allies in developing contingency plans for the Baltic countries during the year preceding the exercise. Major General Terras said it was important for Estonia that Allied forces had both regional contingency plans as well as a cohesive exercises schedule in place to support the aims.

In 2014, Estonia will take part in Trident Jaguar and Trident Juncture NRF exercises with staff officers and in 2015 in an exercise to be held in Spain with the Scouts Battalion. In 2016 Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will contribute to NRF with a Baltic battalion, the core of which will be made up by the Scouts Battalion.

General Domröse last visited Estonia in November to discuss NATO forces military activity on Estonian soil within the framework of the Steadfast Jazz exercise, where Alliance members trained defending Estonia in a situation where a member state is attacked by an hostile superpower. When the NRF is activated in 2014, JFC Brunssum will be responsible for military operations of NRF.

JFC Brunssum, in the Netherlands, is one of two NATO joint force headquarters, the other being JFC Naples. Operational command of the NRF alternates between the joint force commands in Brunssum and Naples.

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