Yesterday at the ABCD Security Conference in Tallinn, Secretary of Defence Luik and Lt. Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, Commanding General of United States Army Europe, discussed the advancement of defence co-operation between Estonia and the United States, and ways to strengthen the deterrence and defence posture of the Baltic region.
Minister of Defence Luik stated that ‘Estonia highly appreciates the contribution of the United States to strengthening the security of our region through regular joint exercises and the presence of US servicemen and capabilities. Joint US-Estonian military exercises involving different branches are regularly taking place, which is clear proof of the US commitment to the defence of the Baltic region.’
They also discussed Russia’s activities and the resulting security threats and emphasized the great importance of ensuring the ability of the United States and other Allies to rapidly transfer their forces and equipment to the Baltic region. Yesterday, Lt. Gen. Cavoli also visited the Tapa military camp, where he praised the training opportunities and infrastructure offered by Estonia to its Allies, and confirmed the great interest of the United States Army Europe in organizing exercises in our region and cooperating with Estonian and other Allied servicemen.
Lt. Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli participated in the International Security Conference ABCD, in Tallinn, and spoke today at the conference’s panel discussion on ‘NATO’s Deterrence and Defence in the Baltic Sea Region’.
Lt. Gen. Cavoli has served as the Commanding General of United States Army Europe since January 2018, having previously held senior positions in the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff.
Over the course of the year, the United States has significantly demonstrated its presence in the Baltic Sea region by conducting a number of joint exercises and relocating various units to the area. Exercises between the Estonian Defence Forces and the United States Air Force took place this spring, within the framework of which the largest and most capable aircraft, such as B-1 and B-52 strategic bombers, were present in Estonian airspace. During the summer, US MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicles were stationed at Ämari Air Base and US Blackhawk helicopters were also stationed there recently to train together with conscripts from the Estonian Defence Forces. Recently the US together with the Estonian Defence Forces and the NATO battlegroup also practiced the firing of the MLRS rocket system in Estonia.
On Tuesday Luik also met with the Portugese Defence minister João Gomes Cravinho to discuss the security threats to NATO and the EU from the east and south. Minister Luik also extended the invite to Portugal to participate in the Baltic Air Policing missioon from Ämari airbase.
Additional information: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee Photos from the ABCD conference: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kaitseministeerium_m72157716187408027/with...