TALLINN, Sept 20 (LETA–BNS) – NATO is planning to strengthen the NATO battle groups stationed in the Baltic countries and Poland with elements of the air force and the navy, NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. James Everard said.
“NATO’s army units have integrated very well and quickly here, but we must strengthen them with elements of the air forces and the navy. This is our next challenge in the Baltic countries and in Poland,” Everard on a visit to Estonia on Wednesday was quoted by spokespeople for the Estonian defense forces as saying.
Everard said that cooperation is extremely important first and foremost between the army and the air forces and it would enable to improve the deterrence and defense capabilities of the battle groups even further. He said that the visit of the British fighters to Estonia in August will not be the last one and more of these kinds of cooperation exercises with the local NATO battle group will be planned in the future.
“For me the most pleasing thing was that we saw eye to eye with the Estonian colleagues on what should be done next. I am satisfied with the progress so far, but there is a lot to be done still,” Everard said.
Gen. James Everard on a two-day visit to Estonia met with secretary general of the Estonian Ministry of Defense Jonatan Vseviov and commander of the Estonian Defense Forces Gen. Riho Terras, visited the Amari air base and laid a wreath at the base of the War of Independence Victory Column.
Everard was also given an overview of the regional security situation, the activity of the NATO battle group in Estonia and the Belarusian-Russian joint exercise Zapad 2017.