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British soldiers received medals at Tapa base

4. September 2020 - 18:12
Minister of Defence Jüri Luik handed out medals at Tapa military base to British soldiers who will soon complete their rotation in Estonia.
Minister of Defence Jüri Luik handed out medals at Tapa military base to British soldiers who will soon complete their rotation in Estonia.

 

Minister of Defence Jüri Luik handed out medals at Tapa military base to British soldiers who will soon complete their rotation in Estonia. The medals are inscribed with „At the defence of NATO“ symbolising the allied soldiers’ contribution to protecting both Estonia and the NATO alliance as a whole.

At the ceremony close to 600 allied soldiers received medals for their 6 month service in Estonia as part of Estonian Defence Force’s first brigade. Their rotation will be succeeded by the soldiers from the United Kingdom’s 5 Rifles Battalion who were also the first allied contingent to arrive in Estonia in 2017 when the NATO battlegroup was first formed.

„Estonian and the United Kingdom’s armed forces have served side by side in difficult conditions through decades on different missions, during which a strong brotherhood has developed among our soldiers, “ said Defence Minister Luik in his speech to the allied soldiers.

The minister added, that the NATO battlegroups presence in Estonia and their high-readiness is of critical importance in times when the current stability of the region is influenced by the events in Belarus and Russian aggressive military exercises.

In 2016 during the Warsaw NATO summit, member states agreed to create a NATO battlegroups in the Baltic States and Poland to counter the increased threats in the region. These battlegroups consist of forces from NATO allied countries. In Estonia the NATO battlegroup consists of the UK’s, Danish, French and Icelandic forces. In total there are about 1500 allied soldiers in Estonia. In addition to the allied soldiers at Tapa military base, allies also conduct the Balti Air Policing Mission from Ämari. Recently the German Air force took over the role of guarding Baltic airspace for 8 months.

Photos: https://pildid.mil.ee/index.php?/category/60082
Further information: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee