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Lieutenant General Martin Herem met with Belgian Chief of Defense in Ämari

Yesterday Estonian Chief of Defense Lieutenant General Martin Herem met with Belgian Chief of Defense Admiral Michel Hofman, who was visiting the Belgian Air Force detachment serving at Ämari airbase for their rotation of Baltic Air Policing mission.

“I am delighted about the excellent cooperation with the Estonian Defense Forces,” said Belgian Chief of Defense Admiral Michel Hofman. “We are proud to be able to participate in this NATO mission and to contribute to the security of the Baltic airspace.”

Belgium was the first country to participate the Baltic Air Policing mission when it was established in 2004. Belgian Air Force started their current Baltic Air Policing rotation from Ämari airbase on December 2 this year when they took over responsibility from the outgoing rotation of Italian Air Force. Belgian aircraft have taken part in Baltic Air Policing from Ämari airbase also in 2016 and 2017.

“For years Belgium has contributed to the safety of Estonia and the whole region and I am thankful to our good allies for their actions,” said Estonian Chief of Defense Lieutenant General Martin Herem. “Our meeting was also a great opportunity to give an overview of Estonian defense readiness and introduce our perspective about the threats in current security environment.”

Belgium and Estonia share years of defense cooperation. Estonian naval officers have participated courses at the Belgian-Netherlands Mine Warfare School since 1998. Belgian units have taken part in Estonian military exercise Spring Storm since 2014 and Belgium joined the Tallinn-based NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Center of Excellence in 2017. In addition, in 2019 a Belgian armored infantry unit was a part of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup serving in Tapa.

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