Brunssum, The Netherlands – After his official visits in Poland and Lithuania in early April 2018, General Marchiò concluded his Baltic tour with the visit of Latvian and Estonian leaderships and enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Groups stationed in both countries.
In Latvia, General Marchiò met with Raimonds Bergmanis, Latvian Minister of Defence, and with Lt Gen Leonĩds Kalninš (Latvian Chief of Defense). They discussed the successful integration of the eFP and the way forward for coordination between the eFP troops and Latvian Defense Forces. The JFC Brunssum Commander also met with the commanders of the eFP Battle Groups and Latvian Brigade and was briefed on the current developments and the next lines of progress.
General Marchiò visits also the NATO Force Intergration Unit (NFIU) Latvia and met the commander of the NFIU Latvia, Colonel Jānis Gailis. The General received a briefing on the tasks achieved and the way ahead in support of NATO's activities in the region.
While in Estonia, General Marchiò met with Mr. Jonathan Vseviov (Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Defence) and with General Riho Terras (Commander of Estonian Defence forces).
After meeting the Estonian leadership, the JFC Commander met other NATO key players in the country: Colonel Giles Harris (Commander of the eFP Command in Estonia) and Colonel Urmas Nigul - NFIU Estonia commander. General Marchiò highlighted the important role of NFIUs in relationship and links established among different entities and stakeholders which are essential to achieve their mission.
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. Boths stressed the good integration of the NATO Battle Group with the Brigade and also the cold weather capability proven during the last month : "Relationships and willingness to learn are the key to success" said Lt Col Luke.
During his trip, General Marchiò congratulated both countries for their great and successful coordination efforts since the deployment of the eFP Battle Groups in 2017.
Note: At the 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw the Heads of States and Governments of NATO Nations agreed to deploy multinational Battlegroups to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in the framework of an enhanced Forward Presence of the Alliance in order to strengthen its collective deterrence and defence posture in the region.
Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office