Over 100 Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) were awarded service medals on Friday in a ceremony marking their service in various foreign missions.
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence Kusti Salm decorated at total of 105 EDF personnel who had taken part in foreign missions in the past year.
Salm said: "Estonia is extremely proud and grateful for your exemplary service. Estonia, NATO and our European Union allies, including France and the U.S., value your commitment and professional skills very highly."
"In doing so we are also helping ourselves, since this action is aimed at strengthening our common security," Salm continued, according to a ministry press release.
The bulk of those decorated had taken part in Operation Barkhane in the West African nation of Mali.
Personnel who participated in the EU training mission EUTM and the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA in Mali were also among the medal recipients, as were individuals who had been invovled in the UN peacekeeping mission UNIFIL in Lebanon, inherent resolve in Iraq, and the EU mission EUNAVFOR Med, operating in the Mediterranean.
54 servicepeople who had participated in several military missions received a medal with a ribbon brooch, marked with the number of missions in which they have participated.
Salm added that solidarity between allies requires much more than political statements, with practical activity such as the missions noted above being an example of that.
Editor: Andrew Whyte