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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 16.09.2019, 03:48

Col Mart Vendla becomes commander of NATO Force Integration Unit in Estonia

BC, Tallinn, 15.08.2019.Print version

At a ceremony held on the territory of the headquarters of the defense forces on Wednesday, Col. Mart Vendla took over command and flag of the NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) in Estonia from Col. Aron Kalmus, informed LETA/BNS.


"The NATO command element demonstrates the allies' dedication and solidarity. The command element constitutes NATO's permanent presence in Estonia, which contributes to collective defense and conjoins national and allied efforts. I am pleased to start my service in Estonia and make my contribution to the security of Estonia as well as the region more broadly," Vendla said. 


Prior to taking over as commander of the NATO command element, Vendla served in the Allied Joint Force Command at Brunssum. Kalmus will go on to serve in the NATO Multinational Division North.


The decision to establish the NATO command elements was adopted at NATO's Wales summit in 2014. The first members of the Estonian defense forces started service on June 15, 2005. Estonia fills half of the 40 positions, while allies from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary, Norway, Poland, the UK and the United States are serving in the rest of the positions at the NATO command element in Tallinn.

The primary responsibility of the command element in Tallinn is to facilitate the rapid deployment of NATO's high readiness force  elements in Estonia, including by preparing and supporting the reception. These responsibilities entail close cooperation with various Estonian civilian and military authorities. The command element's activities aim to increase and maintain NATO's situational awareness about Estonia.


In addition to Estonia, similar command elements are located in seven NATO countries. The command elements holding the status of international military headquarters located in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary answer to NATO's Multinational Corps Northeast located in Szczecin, Poland, while the command elements of Romania and Bulgaria answer to NATO's Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy.

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