US General: We have incredibly strong relationship with Estonia

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Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli with Ministry of Defense Permanent Secretary Kristjan Prikk. Source: Ministry of Defense

Commander of the United States Army Europe and Africa General Christopher G. Cavoli says that the ongoing DEFENDER-Europe 21 exercise is further evidence of the rock solid bilateral relationship between his country and Estonia.

Gen. Cavoli was in Estonia Thursday and Friday, saying during his visit that: "We have an incredibly strong bilateral relationship with Estonia and continue building interoperability across all domains."

"Our nations count on our forces being ready to defend the peace under any conditions. DEFENDER-Europe 21 provides us the best opportunity to hone our abilities alongside our allies and partners in this strategically important region so that collectively, we are ready to respond to any crisis that may arise," Gen. Cavoli continued, according to a U.S. Embassy press release.

The Estonian component of DEFENDER-Europe 21 has this week seen both live firing of U.S. and British Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) and a large-scale para jump by U.S. airborne personnel over Järva County.

During his visit, Gen. Cavoli met with senior leadership from the Estonian Ministry of Defense and the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF), including Ministry of Defense Permanent Secretary Kristjan Prikk and EDF commander, Lt. Gen. Martin Herem.

Kristjan Prikk, who has been tipped as the next Estonian ambassador to the U.S., expressed his gratitude for U.S. contribution to Estonian and regional security, including the commitment demonstrated by the numerous regular exercises and troop presences which take place.

DEFENDER-Europe is an annual large-scale U.S. Army-led, multinational, joint exercise designed to build readiness and interoperability between U.S., NATO and their partner militaries. 

DEFENDER-Europe 21 activities will take place in Estonia throughout May 2021.

U.S. Army Europe and Africa forces have a presence in over 100 countries and provide combat-ready land forces in the interests of both deterrence and commitment to peace and stability in Europe and Africa, the U.S. embassy says.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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