- On the third day of his tour General Farina started by meeting Col. Giles Harris who is the commander of the British enhanced Forward Presence Command in Estonia and Col Urmas Nigul - NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) commander. During both meetings the JFCBS commander was briefed about the current developments in respective units and introduced to the outlook for the near future.
The Commander reemphasized his operational vision on the Alliance’s enhanced Forward Presence, described as a ‘catalyst for progress’. According to this plan, the land-based eFP battlegroups will integrate their deterrence and defence efforts with both air and maritime assets to create joint effects. The Commander also emphasized five lines of effort that JFC Brunssum would pursue to achieve this, including Capability and Requirement Development, Cross Domain Collaboration and Contribution, Training and Exercise Synchronization, Integrated Defence Planning, and Joint Situational Awareness.
The JFCBS commander also visited Tapa military base, and met 1st Infantry Brigade commander: Col Veiko-Vello Palm and eFP battlegroup commander - Lt Col Owain Luke. In his talks with commanders, General Farina emphasized that technological capability residing within the eFP battlegroup and Estonian brigade should be exploited to the maximum. While in Tapa, general Farina met also troops comprising both the Estonian brigade and NATO’s eFP deployment. Speaking to the soldiers who demonstrated their equipment and explained capabilities, General Farina expressed his gratitude for their service under the NATO flag.
Throughout the visit in Estonia, the delegation from Brunssum was accompanied by the Deputy Commander of Estonian Defense Forces – Brigadier General Indrek Sirel. General Farina articulated his appreciation to the support shown by Estonia in support of enhanced Forward Presence. Brunssum’s Commander recognized military capacity and capability of Estonian Defense Forces in relation to their continuous effort to prepare the military base in Tapa for eFP deployment.
General Farina underlined that both countries he visited this week are also hosting Baltic Air Policing mission. "High readiness air-assets located in Šiauliai Air Base (Lithuania) and Ämari Air Base here in Estonia have a lot of experience in providing air coverage to all three countries. My headquarters will support improvement of cooperation between both NATO deployments. We will also seek maritime involvement to materialize the vision of fully enabled joint military capabilities on NATOs eastern flank.”
As part of NATO’s strengthened deterrence and defence posture, Allies agreed at the 2016 Summit in Warsaw to enhance NATO’s military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance. Fully deployed in June 2017, NATO’s enhanced forward presence comprises multinational forces provided by framework nations and other contributing Allies on a voluntary, fully sustainable and rotational basis.
United Kingdom Armed Forces are taking a leading role in NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Estonia, with the British Army leading a multinational Battlegroup from early 2017. British personnel are serving on a constant and rotational basis alongside Danish, French, and host nation Estonian forces. For the UK this deployment is just one aspect of a wide range of support to NATO. Throughout 2017, the UK was responsible for NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), contributing about 3,000 personnel, leading a structured group of 14 partner nations.
Story by Public Affairs Office JFC Brunssum