NATO Battlegroup honors Rakvere Hospital manager for outstanding service

Col. Paul Clayton with Liis Otstavel and Ain Suurkaev in front of Rakvere Hospital Friday.
Col. Paul Clayton with Liis Otstavel and Ain Suurkaev in front of Rakvere Hospital Friday. Source: NATO

The commander of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup in Estonia issued a letter of commendation to a Rakvere hospital manager Friday, in recognition of her service to the battlegroup based in nearby Tapa.

eFP commander Col. Paul Clayton presented the formal letter of commendation in person to Liis Otstavel, treatment manager at Rakvere Hospital, thanking her for outstanding service to the multinational battlegroup.

"A substantial number of British, French and Danish soldiers are indebted to [Liis Otstavel] for the coordination of their treatment and welfare provision," Col. Clayton said in the letter, via a NATO press release.

"She never fails to amaze with the efforts she will take to ensure the best possible experience for all visitors to Rakvere Hospital," the letter continued.

"With a regular turnover of doctors, Liis has integrated successive medical rotations seamlessly. Her infectious smile, joyful persona and sharp wit has become infamous amongst the NATO medical teams. Her reach extends well beyond the hospital; such is her support for eFP she visited the battlegroup at Tapa Camp at Christmas, to deliver local gifts and delicacies for the medical center. Successive eFP Battle Groups are indebted to Liis for the unrelenting care she has shown to our deployed personnel."

Col. Clayton also presented a NATO eFP Battlegroup plaque to the Rakvere Hospital itself, which Ain Suurkaev, the director of the hospital received on behalf of all the staff. 

Suurkaev said:  "It is such an honor for the hospital, and especially Liis, to receive such recognition. It is always a pleasure to cooperate with the NATO battlegroup, and we feel proud that we can play a vital part in sustaining their mission."

The eFP is British-led, with 5th Battalion the Rifles (5 Rifles) forming the core of the battlegroup at present. Personnel from French, Danish and Belgian land forces either currently, or have in the past, make up the remainder of the group, on a rotational basis. The eFP became a reality in 2017 and is mirrored by similar battlegroups in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. It is distinct from the NATO Baltic Air Policing duties, ongoing since Estonia joined the alliance in 2004, which fly out of Ämari air base, west of the capital.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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