Commander of the United States Army's V Corps, Lieutenant General John S. Kolasheski, says that Estonia and her defense forces are a key ally, a fact that will continue to emerge as V Corps – reconstituted last fall – expands its activities in Europe.
Lt. Gen. Kolasheski, who was on a visit to Estonia Tuesday to Thursday, said that: "This is an important relationship, and we look forward to expanding it as V Corps' responsibilities in Europe grow."
"I am pleased to have the opportunity to visit and meet with senior leaders from the Estonian Defense Forces and Ministry of Defense," he went on.
Maj. Gen. Veiko-Vello Palm, deputy commander of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) said of the development that: "The U.S. decision to reactivate the well-known V Corps is very valuable to us, and we applaud both the speed and perseverance with which this deliberate process has been executed.
"Nowadays, battles are fought not only in the information or cyber domains, but also in physical environments, where conventional units and hard firepower are important," he went on, according to a U.S. Embassy press release.
"This is the advantage of a corps-level unit. In Estonia, we are looking at every possibility to make us better, and V Corps helps us to improve our national defense at every level – from individual soldiers to the highest military leadership," he added.
The U.S. Army V Corps was reactivated in October 2020 and is based at Fort Knox, KY.
So far as Europe goes, it maintains an enduring forward command post in Poznan, Poland, which aims to build capability and capacity to shape, deter, fight, and win against malign influence and aggression, the U.S. Embassy says.
It is also focused on building readiness with allies and partners in Europe and developing strategic understanding, and forms part of U.S. European Command's forward-based posture, which demonstrates that country's commitment to defending mutual interests and responding to threats, the embassy says.
The U.S. has provided over $240 million (€202 million approx.) in security assistance to Estonia since 2015, the embassy says. Its armed forces regularly take part in exercises on Estonian soil and in its airspace, with recent highlights including a mass airborne jump over Järva County involving elements of the 82nd Airborne Division, along with the British Parachute Regiment.
While in Estonia, July 27-28, Lt. Gen. Kolasheski met Estonian defense minster Kalle Laanet (Reform) and the ministry's permanent secretary Kusti Salm, as well as Maj. Gen. Palm.
Editor: Andrew Whyte