Home SECURITY & DEFENCE UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace & Estonian Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur issue joint statement on military cooperation

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace & Estonian Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur issue joint statement on military cooperation

Enhancement agreements reached in 2022 are on track as Estonia develops its warfighting Division and command structure, and UK increases reinforcement capabilities.

by gary cartwright
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“Over the last 12 months, the UK and Estonia have worked in exceptionally close cooperation to implement the commitments pledged at the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid. Our collaboration has delivered a more capable UK presence, better able to deter aggression and to defend Estonia in crisis and conflict. The enhanced eFP contributes to our shared objective of protecting our populations and defending every inch of Allied territory at all times,” – UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Estonian Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur (July 12th 2023).

Since the two defence ministers signed a Roadmap in London in November 2022, Estonia has begun the development of an Estonian warfighting Division and command structure.

The UK has uplifted the command of its permanently based enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Headquarters to Brigadier level, and is maintaining permanently deployed Divisional-level assets, including short range air defence and multiple launch rocket systems. Periodic deployments of additional capabilities including Apache and Chinook helicopters are now underway.

Britain’s Royal Air Force is currently in command of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission, with the 140 Expeditionary Air Wing providing fighter cover and air-air refuelling capabilities.

“The UK and Estonia are committed to enhancing our integration and interoperability in the years to come. We will work together to develop an executable plan to enable the UK to consistently exercise reinforcement with the allocated Brigade, and other relevant units of choice, in accordance with defence plans. In 2024 the UK will exercise its Very High Readiness Air Assault Brigade Combat Team during Exercise SPRING STORM, and will exercise the allocated Armoured Brigade in 2025. This will be underpinned by a programme of Staff and Command integration activity, with a regular drumbeat of command visits from the allocated Brigade commencing in autumn 2023. The UK and Estonia will continue to work closely together to ensure the UK is fully integrated with the Estonian Defence Force’s Command and Control, with the UK Brigade aligned to the Estonian Division and fully integrated into Estonia’s National Defence Plan.”

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