Permanent Secretary of Estonian Ministry of Defence Kristjan Prikk presented the Cross of Merit of the Ministry of Defence, Second Class to Major General Linda L. Singh, of the Maryland National Guard, in recognition of her exemplary contribution to the development of defence cooperation between Estonia and the United States.
According to Permanent Secretary Prikk, Major General Singh has made and important contribution to the development of defence cooperation between Estonia and the United States of America.
‘Over the last four years, Major General Singh has contributed a great deal of time and energy to strengthening the partnership between Estonia and Maryland, to find new cooperation opportunities through the Maryland National Guard’s State Partnership Program,’ said Prikk.
He noted that units from the Maryland National Guard have helped together with Estonian Defence League and Defence Forces to ensure the presence of the US military in Estonia at important moments and have carried out several first of their kind training exercises, for example, the landing of A-10 aircraft on highways or the cyber exercise Baltic Jungle.
'The State of Maryland and its National Guard are one of our most important cooperation partners when it comes to cyber cooperation between Estonia and the United States,’ stated Prikk.
Estonia’s Maryland National Guard’s State Partnership Program started in 1993.
During the 1990s, the goal of the programme was, utilising the civil-military structure of the state based National Guard within the United States, to form actual and everyday cooperation programmes and relationships below the national level with the partner countries of US states, in order to help with stable growth.
Four years ago, Estonia and the United states began an exchange programme between reservists, in order to become acquainted with each other's skills and experiences, for example in aviation and weapons safety, medicine, cyber defence and instructor training.
The Defence League has participated in the exchange of reservists and cooperation has taken place in the field of medicine and security technology, infantry training, information administration, the Chaplaincy Service and the Defence League School.
The result is a regular exchange programme, in which members of the Maryland National Guard play an important role.
Additional information: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee