Estonia purchases 44 combat vehicles as NATO trains Estonia for war

Exercise Baltic Bison. I hope the Baltic nations review the history of the American bison and what nearly happened to it in Americans’ pursuit of pleasure and westward expansion.

Lebensraum — another word for “manifest destiny”. Manifest destiny is an enshrined American value and goal. Remember: America is always looking for more territory.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

February 23, 2015

Dutch and Estonian Forces train together in Exercise Baltic Bison 2015

CV-90 Combat Infantry Vehicle

MONS, Belgium: Soldiers of the Dutch 43 Mechanised Brigade are training with their Estonian Infantry counterparts in tough winter conditions during Exercise Baltic Bison from 9-26 February 2015. Exercise Baltic Bison is part of NATO’s Assurance Measures in the region and is focused on international cooperation and knowledge sharing between the two NATO members.

“NATO’s assurance measures, including the Netherlands’ effort during operation Baltic Bison, is proof that NATO commitments are working in a proper way and in practice,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Aron Kalmus, Commander of the Estonian First Infantry Brigade. “I am more than glad, as an Estonian officer and as an Estonian citizen, that our Dutch colleagues amongst other NATO Allies have proved this by coming here in these difficult times in Eastern Europe.”

On 9 December 2014, the Dutch Minister of Defence, Ms Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, and her Estonian colleague Sven Mikser, signed a contract for the purchase of 44 Dutch CV-90 Combat Infantry Vehicles by Estonia. Exercise Baltic Bison provides the opportunity to introduce the tracked vehicle to the Estonian soldiers.

The Estonians will be trained on the various characteristics of this vehicle, such as mobility, firepower and protection, during the two week period. A lot of time will be spent on learning and recognizing each other’s procedures, so that close cooperation is guaranteed now and in the future.

NATO is continuing with its assurance measures such as increased exercises, enhanced air policing and maritime patrolling. The Alliance is also working hard to implement decisions from the Wales summit, including the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), establishing reception bases for command and control, looking at the pre-positioning of supplies and equipment, possible improvements to national infrastructure, and the enhancing of the NATO Response Force.

Story by the Dutch Ministry of Defence and SHAPE Public Affairs Office

Britain to spearhead NATO “Very High Readiness Force” aimed at Russia

“…the alliance’s political leaders and military planners now see Russia’s seizure of the Crimea and military forays into eastern Ukraine as much more than just a temporary crisis between Moscow and the West.”

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BBC News
February 5, 2015

UK to lead ‘high readiness’ Nato force, Michael Fallon says

The UK will play a lead role in a “high readiness” Nato force that will be established in Eastern Europe, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced.

Britain will send up to 1,000 troops and four RAF Typhoon jets for “air policing” in the region, he said.

The multinational force is the biggest reinforcement of Nato’s collective defence since the end of the Cold War.

BBC correspondent Jonathan Marcus said the move aimed to deter a perceived Russian threat to the Baltic states.

It comes as French and German leaders headed to the Ukrainian capital Kiev to try to negotiate an end to escalating fighting in the east of the country.

Mr Fallon said Nato’s credibility in the face of the security challenges depended on “everyone playing their part” to implement decisions taken to bolster its forces at a summit of member states in Wales last year.

“Strong words must be backed up with firm action,” he said.

Nato defence ministers have gathered in Brussels to discuss the details of the “Very High Readiness Joint Task Force” (VJTF), which will form Nato’s first response in the face of aggression.

It is expected to be made up of about 5,000 troops from Nato countries, with its lead units able to deploy at two days’ notice.

The UK will be the force’s lead nation in 2017 and then on rotation thereafter, Mr Fallon said.

He said the UK would contribute manpower to two regional headquarters in Poland and Romania, and to force integration units in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.

The UK will also send four RAF Typhoon jets to support the Nato’s Baltic air policing mission in 2015, he confirmed.

The Typhoons will operate alongside Norwegian aircraft between May and August 2015, with the aim of securing Nato’s airspace over Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, which do not have their own air defence fighters.

They will operate at Nato’s request from Amari Airbase in Estonia, he said.

BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus said the move was aimed to reassure Nato countries in eastern Europe and deter what is perceived as a potential Russian threat to the Baltic republics or other Nato members.

He said it was also a signal that the alliance’s political leaders and military planners now see Russia’s seizure of the Crimea and military forays into eastern Ukraine as much more than just a temporary crisis between Moscow and the West.

Fighting in eastern Ukraine began last April, when separatists seized government buildings after Russia annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimea peninsula.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

Nato secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg has said that Russia continues to violate international law as fighting continues in Ukraine.

NATO authorizes new NATO headquarters in Central and Eastern European states

January 23, 2015

NATO to create offices in six countries of Central and Eastern Europe

NATO’s Military Committee on Thursday approved the establishment of international headquarters in Lithuania and another five countries of Central and Eastern Europe and intends to submit the proposal to defense ministers, Chief of the Armed Forces of Lithuania Major General Vytautas Jonas Žukas told Baltic news agency BNS on Thursday.

The decision is positive. These headquarters will be established,” the general told the agency by phone from Brussels, according to Baltic online news site Delfi.

The headquarters, which will be directly subordinated to the head of the Allied forces in Europe, is proposed to be set up in Vilnius near the building of the Joint Staff. The staff will consist of 50% Lithuanians and 50% international forces.

The general also said that other similar offices should be established in Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. They are to be set up this year.

The establishment of offices should be approved by NATO defense ministers in early February.

“It’s good news for Lithuania. We were able to achieve what we wanted,” Žukas said.

The offices will liaise between national forces, NATO forces in Lithuania, and NATO leadership in Europe.

“During the discussions we also approved plans to create a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) and raised the question of NATO rethinking its strategy and assessing new threats,” he said.


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