Travelling to Tapa, about 100 kilometers east of the Estonian capital, the General visited the eFP Battlegroup Estonia, led by the United Kingdom. The unit is composed mainly of the UK Infantry unit Queen's Royal Hussars, supported by a Danish Company. During the visit, General Bühler was accompanied by the Commander Multinational Division North, Danish Major General Flemming Mathiasen. General Bühler was deeply impressed by the performance of Battlegroup and the professionalism with which the soldiers executed their tasks. "I could feel the motivation to support the Estonian Nation", he underlined.
In Tallinn, the Commander met the Deputy Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, Major General Indrek Sirel, for bilateral talks with regard to Estonian NATO engagement. Amongst other issues, topics touched upon included readiness, interoperability, coordination and coherence as well as process synchronization. General Bühler’s itinerary then saw him visit the NATO Force Integration Unit, Estonia, where he took the opportunity to highlight the important role of this element.
Note: With eFP, NATO has enhanced its presence in the eastern part of the Alliance, with four multinational battle groups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. These battle groups, led by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the United States respectively, are multinational, combat-ready, and serve, inter alia, to demonstrate the strength of the transatlantic bond. Their presence underlines that an attack on one Ally will be considered an attack on the whole Alliance. NATO’s battle groups form part of the largest reinforcement of NATO’s Collective Defence in a generation.
As part of NATO’s adaptation to security challenges from the east and the south, the Alliance has established eight Force Integration Units (NFIU) in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. This follows a decision taken at NATO’s Wales Summit in September 2014 as part of the Alliance’s Readiness Action Plan: a comprehensive package of measures designed to respond to the changed security environment on the Alliance’s borders.