Estonia and the US signed a roadmap for defence cooperation for 2019-2024

On 22 May, in Washington, Kadi Silde, Undersecretary for Defence Policy at the Estonian Ministry of Defence, and Kathryn Wheelbarger, the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defence for International Security Affairs, signed the Estonia-United States Roadmap for Defence Cooperation for 2019–2024 at the Pentagon. Polygon Military Magazine reports.

Estonia and the US signed a roadmap for defence cooperation for 2019 2024
USAF Maj. Karl Hurdle, Air Liaison Officer with Oklahoma National Guard’s 146th Air Support Operations Squadron, advises Lt. Janno Õsso, Estonian Defense Force’s 2nd brigade ALO, on Joint Terminal Attack Controller capabilities May 9th during Exercise HEDGEHOG 2018 in Southern Estonia. The TACP personnel served as advisers to the Estonian Defense Force to create combined fires between U.S. Army and multinational aviation assets. (Picture source: Maj. Kurt M. Rauschenberg, 58th EMIB Public Affairs Officer)

“The basis for the strong alliance between Estonia and the United States has been long-term and multifaceted defence related cooperation, which we are once again confirming with the new roadmap,” said Undersecretary for Defence Policy Kadi Silde. The agreement covers continued cooperation in capacity development, defence-related aid, cyber defence, training and several other areas of common interest.

During the upcoming five year period bilateral cooperation will focus on achieving the objectives set forth in the Estonian National Defence Development Plan, one of the key documents for the planning of national defence capability.

One important goal of the cooperation framework is to function as an accelerator for defence investments and to promote defence related joint procurements by the Baltic states. The second important pillar of the document is boosting Estonian capability development in the field of cyber security. “We will continue to carry out international cyber defence exercises together with the United States,” added Silde.

Cooperation in the given fields strengthens Estonia’s defence capability, but also deterrence in the Baltic Sea region and NATO’s allied cooperation. The United States has signed similar bilateral roadmaps for cooperation with both Latvia and Lithuania, Polygon Military Magazine reminds.