At a meeting with Lt. Gen. Frederick Ben Hodges, the commander of the NATO Allied Land Command and of the US army in Europe, Estonian Minister of Defense Sven Mikser said Estonia is ready to offer training facilities to become more attractive for rotating NATO units.
Mikser said the US troops currently in Estonia have a huge symbolic significance of cooperation between the two nations and shows the collective defense principle of NATO works.
After meeting the minister, Hodges then traveled to Tapa to meet the 150 US troops stationed at an Estonian military base. He said US soldiers are excited about the Siil maneuvers, which are one of the largest NATO exercises scheduled for next year.
“The Estonian Defense Forces are very ambitious in their actions,” Hodges said, adding that organizing a 13,000-strong military exercise and keeping defense spending on the 2 percent of GDP level shows a small nation can do more than what is expected of it.