U.S. soldiers serving in south Estonia were presented mission medals by Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform) this week. He said cooperation between the countries demonstrates the "readiness to defend every inch of Allied territory".
Pevkur handed out medals to the soldiers of the American 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment at a ceremony held at the Taara military base in Võru County.
He said the presence of American units in Estonia, alongside other NATO Allies, is a clear sign of our strong strategic cooperation and the determination of our collective defense.
"Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine is still ongoing, and recently we witnessed horrific terrorist attacks by Hamas against the state of Israel. In these times of upheaval and strategic confrontation, we cannot waver. On the contrary, we must step up and do more to defend our country and Allies," the minister said in a statement.
"I am pleased to know that we can always rely on the support of our American friends and Allies in achieving these goals," he added, emphasizing that support for Ukraine must be maintained.
U.S. forces are present in Estonia as part of an ongoing rotation series that ensures a consistent U.S. military presence in the Baltic States.
This is part of NATO's efforts to strengthen the Eastern flank, as announced by U.S. President Joe Biden at the NATO Summit in Madrid last year.
Editor: Helen Wright