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Feb 21 2022

CommaNder strengthens bonds with Estonian Allies

SZCZECIN, Poland From 15 to 18 February, LTG Jürgen-Joachim von Sandrart, Commander Multinational Corps Northeast (MNC NE), visited Estonia, where he met with regional stakeholders, Allies and the Corps' subordinate formations.

During the trip to the north of MNC NE's area of operations, von Sandrart was accompanied by MG Flemming Mathiasen of the Danish Army, Commander Multinational Division North.

Among others, the Commander held face-to-face talks with LTG Martin Herem (Estonia's Chief of Defence) and Mr Kusti Salm (Permanent Secretary at Estonia's Ministry of Defence). The meetings served to enhance defence partnerships and cater for emerging challenges throughout the Baltic region. LTG von Sandrart emphasized the continuing strength of the Corps' relationship with the Estonian Allies:
The Estonian Defence Forces are our much-valued partner and a driving force in maintaining stability across the Baltic State region, especially in these trying times. Our long-standing cooperation will continue to advance security throughout the region.
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LTG Herem (Estonia's CHOD) and LTG von Sandrart (COM MNC NE) in Tallinn / Photo by MNC NE PAO
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Mr Kusti Salm (Permanent Secretary at Estonia's Ministry of Defence) and LTG von Sandrart (COM MNC NE) in Tallinn / Photo by MNC NE PAO

While in Estonia, von Sandrart visited MNC NE's subordinate formations. He appreciated the opportunity to speak with the personnel of NATO Force Integration Unit Estonia (NFIU EST) helmed by COL Mart Vendla of the Estonian Army.

LTG von Sandrart spoke highly of their exemplary work and commitment to regional security. "NATO Force Integration Unit Estonia is MNC NE's force multiplier, enabling our Allies to focus on their core missions when deployed to Estonia. Your competence and sterling work across Estonia are a testament to the successful advancement of regional stability," the Corps Commander stated.

Activated in 2015, NFIU EST is part of NATO's permanent presence in the Baltic region. Its main mission has been focused on facilitating the rapid deployment of Allied forces to Estonia, supporting collective defence planning and assisting in training and exercise coordination. At the same time, NFIU EST acts as the main link between the host nation and all Allied troops, whether as part of NATO or other defence arrangements.
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LTG von Sandrart (COM MNC NE) and COL Vendla (COM NFIU EST) in Tallinn / Photo by MNC NE PAO
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LTG von Sandrart (COM MNE NE) addresses NFIU EST's personnel in Tallinn / Photo by MNC NE PAO
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LTG von Sandrart (COM MNC NE) and COL Merilo (COM 1st EST BDE) in Tapa / Photo by MNC NE 

Additionally, the delegation met with the Estonian Army's 1st and 2nd Brigades stationed in Tapa and Tartu respectively. The Corps Commander found their capabilities impressive:

Estonian soldiers embody the core attributes of professionalism, integrity and commitment. I'm proud to serve alongside you.

Within the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) framework, one of the key tasks of 1st Infantry Brigade is to incorporate the UK-led multinational Battle Group into the Estonian Army's structure.

This seamless integration sharpens Multinational Corps Northeast's tactical edge and demonstrates the interoperability of our Alliance, the Commander stated.

Of particular importance were the General's visits to the Tartu-based Baltic Defence College and the Tallinn-based International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS). LTG von Sandrart underpinned the importance of the College with a central regional focus: "You shape the path for the future by developing the region's new leaders."

Similarly, the Commander expressed his gratitude towards the ICDS personnel and emphasized that their knowledge heightened the Corps' situational awareness: "I highly appreciate your expertise and detailed insight into the complexities of Baltic security," von Sandrart summarized.

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LTG von Sandrart addresses the audience in Baltic Defence College in Tartu / Photo by MNC NE PAO
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Mr Indrek Kannik (Director International Centre for Defence and Security) welcomes LTG von Sandrart (COM MNC NE) at the Centre in Tallinn / Photo by MNC NE PAO
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LTGvon Sandrart (COM MNC NE) tours 1st EST BDE in Tapa / Photo by MNC NE PAO

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office

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