US Army Europe and Africa commander visits Järva County

Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli with President Kersti Kaljulaid during Exercise Swift Response.
Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli with President Kersti Kaljulaid during Exercise Swift Response. Source:

Commander of the United States Army Europe and Africa (USAREUR-AF) General Christopher G. Cavoli is paying an official visit to an ongoing, large-scale American-led military exercise in central Estonia Saturday.

Gen. Cavoli is visiting personnel taking part in Exercise Swift Response, which started earlier in the week and has already seen a U.S./British Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) live-firing exercise, and a large-scale jump by U.S. airborne forces, and its preparations, centered on Nurmsi airfield in Järva County.

The commander met President Kersti Kaljulaid during the course of the exercise.

Cavoli also met with Ministry of Defense Permanent Secretary Kristjan Prikk and EDF commander, Lt. Gen. Martin Herem., among other Estonian defense leaders, earlier this week.

Exercise Swift Response is itself a subset of DEFENDER-Europe, an annual event but with this year's being reportedly the largest in the past quarter-century, and held concurrently across 16 European states.

The Estonian component has seen around 2,500 Estonian, U.S. and British personnel involved in Swift Response so far, with dozens of aircraft, including Boeing Globemaster C-17s, and helicopters, including Boeing CH-47 Chinooks, Boeing AH-64 Apache and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks taking part, while the NATO air base at Ämari, Harju County, was also pressed into action (see video below).

Two of the most iconic airborne units in the world made the jump Friday night, which in the event was delayed 24 hours due to adverse weather: The U.S. 82 Airborne Division, and the British Army's Parachute Regiment.

Equipment was also reportedly dropped from the planes, while the U.S. troops had come direct from their base at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for the occasion.

Commander of the U.S. XVIII Airborne Corps,  Lt. Gen. Michael E. Kurilla, and commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, Maj. Gen. Christopher T. Donahue, are also taking part in the visit, BNS reports.

Gen. Cavoli, a four-star U.S. General, assumed command of USAREUR-AF on October 1 2020. He previously served as the commanding general of United States Army Europe, January 2018 to September 2020.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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