Defense Ministry: Rotating American Units to Be Stationed in Estonia Until 2015 ({{commentsTotal}})

The United States European Command announced today that it would bolster military presence in the Baltics by sending one airborne company to each country.

A total of 150 soldiers in the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team will arrive in Estonia next week and remain here through the major annual spring exercise, Kevadtorm, reported.

The US company will rotate, being replaced by subsequent US units until at least the end of the year, the Estonian Defense Ministry said.

Defense Minister Sven Mikser said the decision would increase Estonian security and supplement NATO's deterrence measures approved last week.

"I think the decision is the beginning of a larger process involving moving American and NATO forces based on the security situation in Europe," said Mikser.

Based on a decision made by the North Atlantic Council last week, from May 1, four Danish F-16 fighters will begin to be stationed at Ämari Air Base. And NATO's Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1, which includes the Estonian Navy's Admiral Cowan, took up positions in the Baltic Sea last week. It was also agreed that NATO would review the defense plans laid by Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, based on the new security situation.