Commander Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum, General Salvatore Farina, completed a successful visit to the Estonian Ministry of Defence 5th and 6th May; his first official visit to Estonia in this capacity. The purpose of the trip was to meet with the Estonian Chief of Defence, Lieutenant General Riho Terras, to discuss the Estonian security situation.
General Farina praised the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) for their part in contributing to NATO's Readiness Action Plan and applauded the close cooperation that has been established between the EDF and JFC Brunssum which has led to the delivery of a number of capabilities agreed at the Wales Summit, in 2014. In discussion, Lieutenant General Terras provided details of current EDF plans and exercises in relation to the current threat environment, stressing the relevance of the presence of NATO troops in Estonia.
The NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) recently established in Tallinn, and its important role, was also one of the topics discussed with the Estonian Chief of Defence on the occasion of the signing of the NFIU Base Support Arrangement between the EDF and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). This document was signed by Lieutenant General Terras on behalf of the EDF and General Farina on behalf of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe. The agreement provides a legal basis upon which to operate a NFIU within Estonian territory and establishes regulations regarding the provision of base support to the Tallinn-based unit.
The Estonian NFIU was inaugurated in June 2015 and activated in September of the same year. Since then it has provided support to NATO forces deployed to Estonia. The NFIU's primary responsibility is to facilitate the rapid deployment of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). Summarising his visit, General Farina stated that Estonia is a very important NATO ally whose Defence Forces are extremely well organised and capable. Their commitment to homeland security is tangible and a strong link exists between the EDF to the Estonian population.