Lithuania and six other allies creating 10,000-strong new joint force
Silver Tambur, www.DELFI.ee
Monday, September 1, 2014
Seven NATO states are to create a new joint expeditionary force of at least 10,000 personnel to improve NATO’s rapid deployment ability, the Estonian Defence Ministry said on Saturday. The new force will be led by the United Kingdom.
In an interview with LRT radio the President Dalia Grybauskaitė says that the meeting of the presidents of the three Baltic States with the President of the United States of America (USA) Barack Obama means that the region has very strong support and its concerns are taken seriously. According to her, the NATO summit, which will take place in Wales right after this meeting, is vital in the current geopolitical situation.
Germany will be taking over the responsibility of supporting the Baltic Air Policing mission from Ämari Air Base in Estonia. From September until end of the year, up to six Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoon jets will patrol the skies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, in coordination with NATO fighter jets already stationed in Lithuania.
Three hundred members from the Estonian Defence Forces and Defence League will be providing additional security during the US President Barack Obama's visit to Estonia on 2 and 3 September. The operation will cost half a million euros.