NATO special operations exercise held in Estonia
NATO Special Operations Headquarters’ unit held an exercise called Trident Jaguar in Eametsa, Pärnu County, from April 20-27. For the first time, an exercise of this kind was held outside Mons in Belgium, where the HQ is located.
The unit was operating as the Special Operations Component Command for the Joint Task Force led by the NATO Rapid Deployment Corps, based in Italy, which is currently deployed to the Joint Warfare Centre in Norway.
Lieutenant General Brad Webb, Commander of the NATO Special Operations Headquarters, also visited the exercises and met with Estonian Chief of Defense, Riho Terras, and Marko Mihkelson, the head of National Defense Committee of the Estonian Parliament.
Joint special operations are an integral part to NATO’s Readiness Action Plan and the deployment was part of a series of Allied exercises and training events intended to reassure Baltic states.
Webb expressed his appreciation for the Estonian hosts and spent time with Estonian Special Operations Forces, in an effort to better understand their capabilities.
According to Mihkelson, special operations capability is a rapidly developing component of NATO joint exercises, to which the command post exercise also gave its contribution. In Mihkelson’s opinion the holding of a command post exercise of NATO special operations center in Pärnu shows Estonia’s high reception capability.
NATO special units have a key role in the rapid solving of crises in modern warfare, at the same time they also support conventional capabilities like the land, naval and air forces.
This is the first time an exercise of this kind was held outside of Mons in Belgium, where the NATO Special Operations Headquarters are located and where the members of Estonian special unit also serve.