Today, on 27 July, Minister of Defence of Estonia Hanno Pevkur awarded mission medals in recognition of service to 68 Estonian troops who served on international operations.
“Estonia has been participating in the foreign missions and operations of NATO, the European Union, the UN, as well as those of our Allies and their coalitions, for 27 years. Thousands of service members and Estonian Defence League members have gained and brought home invaluable experiences. And most importantly, the professionalism and dedication of Estonian fighters has always earned praise,” Pevkur said at the ceremony.
According to Pevkur, the security situation took a serious turn for the worse on February 24, which is why it is critically important, together with our Allies, to focus on NATO’s collective defence.
“Estonia has never been as well protected as it is now, but at the same time the threat emanating from the East has never been so acute. We must work hard, take into consideration the lessons learned in Ukraine and carry those experiences over to our situation, to strengthen Estonia’s defensive capability. We here know that every quill counts and your return adds quite a lot of quills to defend Estonia. Continue your service at home in the same way, with professionalism and dedication,” he added.
The Minister of Defence also thanked the families and loved ones of the service members, whose support is invaluable. “While I believe you too are very happy to be back home, it is your loved ones that are the happiest about your return, who have missed and waited for you for a long time. Enjoy the remainder of summer in Estonia and always remember with pride that you have stood far from home for the freedom of the Estonian people and state,” said Pevkur to those who had returned home from missions.
Minister of Defence Pevkur awarded medals to troops for their service in operations and missions in Mali (Barkhane, UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA, and the European Union military training mission EUTM), in Iraq (NATO training mission NMI, US-led international military operation Inherent Resolve), in Lebanon (UN peacekeeping mission UNTSO), in Israel (UN peacekeeping mission UNTSO), in Italy (EU military mission EUNAVFOR MED) and in Mozambique (EU military training mission EUTM).
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