The Estonian Defence Forces have been active in operations abroad since participating in the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) mission Croatia in 1995. The first combat experiences for the Estonian military took place in Iraq in 2003.
As of 2015 Estonia participates in the European Union military operation EUNAVFOR MED with one logistics staff officer serving at the OHQ in Rome. The aim of this military operation is to undertake systematic efforts to identify, capture and dispose of vessels as well as enabling assets used or suspected of being used by migrant smugglers or traffickers in Southern Central Mediterranean.
The Estonian contingent has been serving in Lebanon since May of 2015 in the UN peace keeping mission UNIFIL. The larger part of the contingent is represented by a platoon sized infantry unit and support element. The tasks of the infantry platoon serving in the western sector by the Israel border is to conduct observations, patrols and man control posts as well as fulfill other peace keeping tasks. The Estonian force also cooperates with the Lebanon military.
EUFOR RCA in
The Estonian military has been serving in the Central African Republic since May 2014. EUFOR RCA is to provide temporary support in achieving a safe and secure environment in the Bangui area, with a view to handing over to African partners. The force will thereby contribute to international efforts to protect the populations most at risk, creating the conditions for providing humanitarian aid.
Estonia contributes to the missioon with an infantry platoon-size unit.
ISAF in Afganistan
The Estonian Defence Forces have been active in Afghanistan since 2006. The first contingent to serve in Afghanistan was the mine clearance group. The Estonian military has been serving in restless Helmand province, southern Afghanistan since 2006.
The Estonian Defence Forces finished their missioon in Afganistan in May 2014 and the logistics team is finalising the withdrawal.
EUTM in Mali
Estonian staff officers have been serving with the European Union training mission in Mali as of March, 2013. The purpose of the training mission is to support the Mali armed forces and assist the Mali government to maintain control over their national territory.
The mission is involved in supporting the Mali armed forces via training and in an advisory capacity in areas covering leadership, military capability, rearguard support and personnel management.
MINUSMA in Mali
The Estonian military has been serving in the United Nations MINUSMA mission in Mali since September 2013. The goal of the mission is peace keeping and support of the Mali government in helping to organize free elections, assisting in administrative capacities and protection of human rights in the nation.
Currently the Estonian military representative in Mali is dealing with peace keeping and logistical questions.
KFOR in Kosovo
The Estonian military has been serving in Kosovo as of 1999. The Multi purpose military police unit Estpatrol-1 to Estpatrol-14 were part of the Italian military police units involved in peacekeeping operations with NATO in Kosovo from November 1999 to December 2006. The Baltic reconnaissance squadrons Baltsqn-7, Baltsqn-10 and Baltsqn-13 were part of the Danish contingent in missions from March 2003 to August 2006. In Kosovo the Estonian Defence League participated with the reconnaissance units Estrif-1 to Estrif-6 from February 2007 to February 2010.
Currently Estonian Defence Forces are represented in KFOR headquarters in Pristina by a staff non-commissioned officer.
UNTSO in Middle-East
As of March 1997 Estonian officers have participated as military observers in UN peace keeping missions in the Mid-East with UNTSO (United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation).
Estonian observers are serving in rotations in Israel, Lebanon and Syria. The yearlong mission consists of patrols, manning observation posts and staff work. There are two officers at a time at the UN mission.
The first UN peace keeping mission UNTSO was formed in 1948 to ensure the sanctity of the national agreements of Israel’s four neighbours – Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.