The Chief of the Estonian Defense Forces, Major General Riho Terras, welcomed the last Estonian infantry company returning from Afghanistan on Saturday, saying it is thanks to their service that NATO fighters are policing the Estonian air space today.
The seven-hour flight from Camp Bastion to the Ämari Air Base marked the end of six months of service and the end of Estonia’s Afghanistan mission, launched in 2003 and the longest for the country to date, ETV reported on Saturday.
The mission was seminal to Estonia’s security, the commander said.
“Thanks to their actions, we have the Danish planes here today and the US Airborne Brigade Combat Team exercising with our Scouts Batallion at the Kevadtorm [Spring Storm] exercise. Their fighting has accomplished us being taken seriously internationally,” Major General Terras said.
Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas was also there to meet the soldiers, saying that he feels “proud of the women and men who have helped ensure Estonian security in Afghanistan over these 11 years.”