Chair of the NATO Military Committee praises Estonia for its resilience and digital innovation
From 14 to 16 September 2022, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer conducted a country visit to Estonia, ahead of the annual NATO Military Conference that will be held in Tallinn. During his visit, he met with President Alar Karis, Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur and Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Martin Herem. Admiral Bauer also travelled to Tapa to meet the 1st Infantry Brigade and NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence multinational Battlegroup.
After a welcome ceremony by the Honour Guard, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Bauer sat down with Lieutenant General Herem, Estonian Chief of Defence to discuss the current security environment and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. “We are facing a new strategic reality, one that demands we be readier and more able than ever before. At the Summit in Madrid, Allied Heads of State and Government took steps to ensure that our deterrence and defence posture remains credible and effective so that we can continue to protect all our Allies, including Estonia”, highlighted Admiral Bauer.
The next morning, Admiral Bauer had the opportunity to meet with the Estonian Minister of Defence, Mr Pevkur and discussions centred on Estonia’s ability to adapt, evolve and innovate, especially in the digital sphere. Admiral Bauer underlined that “Estonia is a highly resilient Ally and a frontrunner in developing cyber capabilities. It hosts the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence and the CR14 foundation, which organises the NATO Cyber Range – a platform for cyber exercises and training. Furthermore, as of 2023, Estonia, in cooperation with the UK, will establish DIANA's European headquarters – further enabling NATO’s ability to prepare for the future”.
The Chair then took a moment to honour the Fallen Heroes by laying a wreath at the base of the War of Independence Victory in Tallinn’s Freedom Square. “As I stand here today I am reminded of the Estonians’ enduring spirit, their willingness to stand up against oppression and the sacrifices they have made in the name of peace, freedom and democracy. Together, we will continue to fiercely protect and defend these common values”, he added.
Admiral Bauer travelled to Tapa to meet troops from the 1st Infantry Brigade and NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence multinational Battlegroup. “I was proud to meet the men and women stationed in Tapa today, they represent the very best of our Alliance and our ability to work together for the greater good. I was also able to witness the interoperability between the different nations, their joint resolve and their heightened readiness. Together, they contribute to reinforcing NATO’s defensive shield on our Eastern flank”, he underscored.
In his meeting with the Commander of the Estonian Defence League, Admiral Bauer praised the organisation for its contributions to national resilience in times of crisis. In his meeting with the Estonian National Defence Committee, Admiral Bauer commended its members for their enduring commitment to Estonia’s defence and its role within the Alliance. “Estonia leads by example when it comes to Defence Spending, by not just meeting the 2% target but by making plans to exceed it. You are enabling your leadership with the opportunities to increase your national defence. A stronger Estonia means a stronger NATO”, he concluded.
On Friday evening 16 September, Admiral Bauer will join President Karis for the official opening of the 2022 edition of the NATO Military Committee Conference.