EDF chief talks Baltic defense plans at the Pentagon

Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Maj. Gen. Martin Herem.
Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Maj. Gen. Martin Herem. Source: ERR

Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) chief Maj. Gen. Martin Herem met Chair of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. on Thursday, to discuss the structure of Baltic defense plans.

"Gen. Milley attaches great importance to efficient deterrence, which must be based on regionally structured defense plans jointly designed by the Baltic states and Poland, implemented through joint exercises and public support," Herem said.

"I deem it necessary to again tell skeptics that U.S. dedication to supporting its allies still very much stands. We have shared interests that need to be protected," he added, according to BNS.

A meeting between Herem and several high-level representatives of the U.S. Armed Forces focused on the regional defense plan and ways to enhance it under the NATO framework.

"If needed, the Multinational Division North in Latvia will be given control of regional units, which will be strengthened by deployed allied forces, to ensure that the joint defense activities are stronger and more meaningful in a military sense. For this to happen, NATO needs to focus on regional defense plans, with national plans should also be integrated," Maj. Gen. Herem said. 

The EDF commander added that arms and public equipment procurement should likewise be conducted through greater regional cooperation, as should developing new military capabilities

"Joint development of capabilities must be based on the needs stemming from regional plans, not just on the purposes of cooperation or economic gain," he said, adding that military purchases should support the shared objectives, to which political support is also needed. 

Gen. Milley thanked Maj. Gen. Herem for Estonia's contributions to operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq.

Maj. Gen. Herem also met Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. James C. McConville, Commandant of the US Marine Corps Gen. David H. Berger, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein, Adjutant General of Maryland National Guard Maj. Gen. Timothy E. Gowen and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Vice Adm. Phillip G. Sawyer, during his visit.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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