NATO to Strengthen Baltic Region Defense with Air, Naval Forces

World | September 20, 2017, Wednesday // 17:31
Bulgaria: NATO to Strengthen Baltic Region Defense with Air, Naval Forces

NATO is planning on strengthening the NATO battle groups stationed in the Baltic countries and Poland with air force and naval elements, NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) Gen. Sir James Everard said on a visit to Tallinn on Wednesday.

"NATO's army units have integrated very well and quickly here, but we must strengthen them with air force and naval elements," Everard was quoted by spokespeople for the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) as saying. "This is our next challenge in the Baltic countries and in Poland."

According to Everard, cooperation is extremely important first and foremost between the army and the air forces and it would enable to improve the deterrence and defense capabilities of the battle groups stationed in the region even further. He said that the visit of the British fighters to Estonia in August will not be the last and more of these kinds of cooperation exercises with the local NATO battle group will be planned in the future.

"For me, the most pleasing thing was that we saw eye-to-eye with our Estonian colleagues on what should be done next," Everard said. "I am satisfied with the progress so far, but there is a lot to be done still."

On a two-day visit to Estonia, Gen. Sir James Everard met with Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence Jonatan Vseviov and Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Gen. Riho Terras, visited Ämari Air Base and laid a wreath at the base of the War of Independence Victory Column in Tallinn. Everard was also given an overview of the regional security situation, the activities of the British-led NATO battle group stationed in Estonia and the joint Russian-Belarusian exercise Zapad 2017.

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Tags: Supreme Allied Commander Europe, NATO, Estonian Defence Forces
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