NATO General: Baltic States, Poland are heart of alliance's defense ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

The Baltic states and Poland are at the heart of NATO's defense in Northeast Europe, General Jörg Vollmer, Commander of the NATO Joint Command in Brunssum, said on Friday during a first time visit to Estonia.

"The Baltic States and Poland are an important and central region for the protection of North-Eastern Europe; my first foreign visit was a natural choice," said the general.

During the meeting with the Commander of the Estonian Defense Forces, Maj. Gen. Martin Herem, Vollmer received an overview of the activities and current situation of the Estonian Defense Forces and discussed issues related to regional security.

Herem said: "Our views on the threats and needs of north-eastern Europe are the same, we both see the security of our region as a whole. We must take regional security into account when developing and strengthening national capabilities."

Vollmer said: "Estonia's reserve service system, together with flash drills in recent years, is impressive and effective and confirms Estonia's readiness to defend itself as well as to contribute to collective defense. I thank the Estonian Defense Forces for their important contribution to the NATO Battlegroup, NATO Rapid Reaction Force, Air Security and Afghanistan Resolute Support. All this demonstrates the readiness of collective defense, which is one of the cornerstones of NATO."

He said the restrictions caused by the coronavirus did not reduce the impact on the security of the region.

"We can be proud of our soldiers. During the pandemic, they helped our societies and, more importantly, they maintained their presence, continued their exercises, albeit on a reduced scale, but the battle group rotations continued, the air security mission continued and we saw a large naval exercise in Baltops in the last few weeks. was never at risk during the spread of the virus. "

General Vollmer took over as Commander of NATO's Joint Command Brunssum on April 22. This week's visit to the Baltic States and Poland was his first official foreign visit as Allied Commander to Allied countries.

The command in Brunssum, the Netherlands, is one of three NATO operational-level headquarters that coordinates NATO operations in Allied Battlegroups in Northern Europe, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, and the Baltic Air Security Mission, and is responsible for collective defense. 

The North-East NATO Corps is under the command of Brunssum Joint Forces. In addition, the Command is responsible for leading the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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