Air Chief Marshal Peach commends Estonia for all of its contributions to the Alliance
The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach travelled to Estonia on 26-28 October, 2020. During his visit, the Chairman met with Estonian officials, including President H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid and the Chief of Defence, Major General Martin Herem. He also visited the 1st Infantry Brigade, the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group, and the Tallinn-based Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.
Upon his arrival in Estonia, Air Chief Marshal Peach met with Major General Martin Herem, Commander of the Estonian Armed Forces, to discuss Estonia’s key contributions to the Alliance. “Your troops serve in Afghanistan and you contribute personnel to our mission in Iraq. You host part of our NATO Air Policing mission at your base in Amari as well as an eFP Battle Group and an NFIU. You actively contribute to our maritime demining efforts with a minehunter. You share your expertise on cyber defence, through the NATO Cyber Centre of Excellence and the NATO Cyber Range”, noted the Chairman. “Estonia makes valuable contributions to our shared security by helping defend the Alliance in the air, at sea, on land and in cyber space,” highlighted Air Chief Marshal Peach.
Before departing Tallinn, the Chairman received a regional security brief from the Military Intelligence Centre and met with Colonel Mart Vendla, Commander of the NATO Force Integration Unit in Estonia. He also participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the War of Independence Victory Column which honours the thousands who died fighting for Estonian Independence from 1918-1920.
At the 1st Infantry Brigade in Tapa, Air Chief Marshal Peach was briefed by Colonel Paul Clayton, Commander of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group. The Chairman praised the coordination of NATO forces across the Alliance and particularly in Estonia. “Troops from the UK, Denmark and Iceland are working together to protect our Alliance and safeguard our borders. This is the personification of solidarity and interoperability. NATO’s battlegroups in the Baltic States and Poland send a clear message: our Allies stand together as one”.
The Air Chief Marshal then met the President of Estonia, H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid, whom he thanked for Estonia’s ongoing assistance to the Alliance, including during the pandemic. “Estonia has shown tremendous solidarity with Allies and partners throughout the COVID-19 crisis, for instance, by donating critical medical supplies to Italy and Spain, and supporting Georgia and Ukraine,” commended the Chairman.
During his visit to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), the Chairman received a brief and learned more about the CCDCOE’s current research, training and exercises, including the release of its country reports. These reports aim to improve the awareness of cybersecurity management in the various national settings, support nations in enhancing their own cybersecurity governance, encourage the spread of best practices as well as contribute to the development of interagency and international cooperation.
Air Chief Marshal Peach concluded his trip by meeting the Chairman of the National Defence Committee and Members at the Estonian Parliament. Sitting down with H.E. Kristjan Prikk, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, the Chairman acknowledged that “Estonia leads by example on defence spending, investing more than 2% of GDP in defence,” he added, regarding Estonia’s recent decision to increase its defence budget to €645.4 million, constituting 2.29% of the country’s GDP.