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United States Infantry Unit Arrives in Estonia

A United States infantry company arrived at Taara base in Võru this week as part of a deployment to train and serve with the 2nd Infantry Brigade of the Estonian Defense Forces.

This deployment, within the framework of bilateral defense cooperation, is part of the commitment made by U.S. President Joe Biden at the NATO Madrid Summit to enhance the presence of rotational U.S. forces in the Baltic region and to strengthen the deterrence and defense posture on NATO’s eastern flank.

“The U.S. Infantry Unit will also include a Battalion command element that will allow us to integrate our allies on a brigade level and gain an additional maneuver unit. This will help us to train by using additional allies’ capabilities and increasing the brigade’s combat power.” Colonel Mati Tikerpuu, the commander of the 2nd Infantry Brigade of the Estonian Defense Forces.

 The U.S. infantry company will be stationed in Võru during its deployment and will participate in joint exercises with the Estonian Defense Forces to enhance interoperability and to demonstrate the flexibility of combat credible forces to respond to threats

„Our U.S. Soldiers are excited to be in Estonia and we look forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder, alongside our Allies. This is an opportunity to learn from one another, deepen our interoperability, and form stronger bonds.“ Col. Richard J. Ikena, 1stInfantry Division Artillery Commander. 

„Our unit is ready for this amazing opportunity. Working with our Estonian counterparts increases readiness, and the relationships built will increase interoperability.“ Capt. Arnaud Vaganay, Bravo Company Commander.

The United States will also deploy a HIMARS platoon to Estonia, along with the corresponding control equipment and systems, and will cooperate with the Estonian Defense Forces to establish a divisional structure within the framework of NATO. Estonia will also join the renowned U.S. Warfighter program comprising a series of exercises culminating in a capstone training event that will give certification to the participating corps and division formations.

Apart from the deployment of U.S. troops, a NATO battle group (Enhanced Forward Presence) led by the United Kingdom currently serves in Estonia, in which French and Danish units and Icelandic experts also participate. Additionally, there is a German Air Force unit in Estonia as part of the Baltic Air Policing Mission.

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