Military reserve associations from Estonia and the United Kingdom signed a memorandum of understanding in Tallinn Monday, which will pave the way for future cooperation and training activities.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) commander Lt Gen. Martin Herem said: "I welcome this opportunity for our reserves to work more closely to improve operational preparedness and professional skills; we already know each other well and we can build on that.''
Maj. Gen. Greg Smith of the British Army, who co-signed the agreement, added: "Having well trained and experienced military reservists, bound together by the volunteer ethos and motivated by the reservist ethos, are a vital element of that preparedness. In so doing, we can say with confidence that we will remain calm in difficult times, take care of each other and together overcome any hardships."
The United Kingdom Reserve Forces Association (UKRFA) and the Eesti Reservohvitseride Kogu (EROK) signed the Memorandum of Understanding and Deed of Friendship at the British Embassy in Tallinn on Monday.
The memorandum recognizes not only the existing strong bond between the two countries' reserve forces, but also the intent to strengthen and grow that bond through joint activity both in Estonia and in the UK, the embassy says.
Lt Col. Toomas Luman and Lt Mari Uuemaa signed on behalf of EROK Col. Chris Argent joined Maj. Gen. Smith to sign on behalf of the UKRFA, while the UK Ambassador to Estonia HE Ross Allen and the UK Defense Attaché Commander Rob Steadman joined Lt Gen. Herem in witnessing the ceremony.
Today the and Reserve Forces Associations signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Bond of Friendship which will underpin even closer cooperation in the years to come. Lt Mari Uuemaa for and MG Greg Smith for .#Allies #Liitlased— Ross Allen (@rceallen) October 31, 2022
The UKRFA and the EROK held the joint Presidency of NATO's Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR) between 2018 and 2020 and have since continued to work together to deliver capabilities within the reserve forces of both countries, while Estonia, represented by EROK, now holds the presidency of CIOR, from 2022 to 2024.
The EROK and UKRFA are now also to commence a joint program aimed at identifying and delivering reserves training and education opportunities for their respective reserve forces, aimed at strengthening and growing the cooperation and understanding between the two nations' armed forces.
The UK is the lead nation in the NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup based at Tapa and regularly contributes land, air and sea force deployments in Estonia via other frameworks also.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: British Embassy in Tallinn