On Monday, four deminers from the Estonian Defense Forces and one engineer commander from the 1st Infantry Brigade will be sent to Afghanistan on a new mission.
Estonians serve in Afghanistan as part of the German contingent in Mazar-e-Sharif, the General Staff of the Defense Forces announced on Saturday. The
"The demining mission is Estonia's oldest combat mission so far, and as pioneers you have brought fame to Estonia, which may not always stand out, but which by its very nature fulfills a very high humanitarian goal," The commander of the 1st Infantry Brigade, Colonel Vahur Karus, told the deminers waiting to go on a mission to Afghanistan in a video conference on Friday.
For the commander of the demining team, webmaster Toomas Künnapuu, this will be his tenth mission, six of which he has served in Afghanistan.
The main tasks of the team are to ensure the security of the contingent base, to carry out bomb inspections and to participate in the work of the rapid reaction unit.
Demining teams have been involved in missions in northern Afghanistan since 2003.
Due to the emergency situation caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Defense Forces members had to isolate in the barracks at Tapa campus at the beginning of last week to prevent infection and to ensure that all crew members are healthy when they undertake the mission.
In October, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas visiting Afghanistan and met with members of the Estonian Defence Forces.
At the time there were Forty-two EDF personnel plus one Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) representatives are currently serving in NATO's Afghanistan mission, predominantly in the capital, Kabul, with a four-member mine clearance team stationed in Mazar-i-Sharif, northern Afghanistan.
Estonia has supported Afghanistan in development cooperation, to the tune of €11.3 million since 2009.
Editor: Helen Wright