At a ceremony held at Taara Army Base in Võru on Friday, U.S. Army soldiers who have been deployed to Estonia since December were awarded mission medals by Estonia's Ministry of Defense.
"Thank you for your excellence in service and for your preparedness to defend the Baltic states by deterring enemies who want to turn back the course of history," Tiina Uudeberg, undersecretary for defense planning at the Ministry of Defense, said in a speech before conferring the mission medals to the U.S. troops, according to a press release.
"The presence of U.S. forces here is a testament to the strategic partnership and strong friendship between our countries," she added.
️ #Estonia has awarded mission medals to @USArmy troops deployed to . Thank you for excellence in service and for your preparedness to #defend Baltic States by deterring enemies, who want to turn back the course of history!— MoD Estonia (@MoD_Estonia) March 10, 2023
"President [Joe] Biden has promised time and again that the United States will stand with its allies to defend every inch of NATO territory — these service members are the embodiment of that promise here in Estonia," U.S. Ambassador to Estonia George P. Kent said.
"I want to thank the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) for being generous hosts and the Defense Ministry for honoring the service of U.S. troops," he continued. "We are proud to stand united with Estonia against any threat to our shared security."
"President Biden has promised time and again that the United States will stand with its Allies to defend every inch of NATO territory – these servicemembers are the embodiment of that promise here in Estonia." – Ambassador George P. Kent pic.twitter.com/ebMY6ctlVu— USEmbassyTallinn (@USEmbTallinn) March 10, 2023
The U.S. Army infantry company and HIMARS unit had trained alongside the 2nd Infantry Brigade of the EDF since December 2022.
These troops were deployed to Estonia within the framework of bilateral defense cooperation and as part of the commitment made by U.S. President Joe Biden at NATO's Madrid summit last July to enhance the presence of rotational U.S. forces in the Baltic region and strengthen the alliance's deterrence and defense posture along NATO's eastern flank.
Editor: Aili Vahtla