Partnerships

U.S., Estonia Sign 5-Year Road Map of Defense Cooperation

May 22, 2019 | BY Terri Moon Cronk

U.S. and Estonia defense leaders signed a five-year roadmap of defense cooperation at the Pentagon.

Kathryn L. Wheelbarger, acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, and Kadi Silde, Estonia's undersecretary for defense policy, signed the document that will continue defense cooperation between the two countries through 2024.

Estonia joins Lithuania and Latvia in the five-year defense cooperation agreement between the Defense Department and the Baltic states.

Defense leaders sign agreement
U.S.-Estonia Vision
Kathryn Wheelbarger, acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, right, and Kadi Silde, Estonia’s undersecretary of defense for policy, sign the U.S.-Estonia Vision of Security Cooperation at the Pentagon, May 22, 2019.
Photo By: Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith, DOD
VIRIN: 190522-D-SV709-0003

The foundation for strong allied relations between Estonia and the United States has been long-term and multifaceted cooperation. The agreement confirms the continuation of the cooperation and mapping future directions for work, officials said.

During the next five years, the plan will focus on the more systematic development of bilateral security cooperation and achieving the objectives set forth in the national defense development plan, one of the basic documents for planning Estonia's national defense capability.

Areas of cooperation between Estonia and the United States include capability development and defense-related aid, training exercises, cyber defense, the Estonian Defense League, training areas and host nation support, officials said.

Marines in a truck pass tents to Marines outside a truck.
Tent Task
Marines unload tents at Adazi Military Base, Latvia, June 2, 2018, during Saber Strike, an integrated field training exercise that occurs annually throughout Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Angel D. Travis
Photo By: Lance Cpl. Angel Travis
VIRIN: 180602-M-DN694-1008C
Estonian and U.S. soldiers train during a combat exercise at the Estonian Central Training Area near Tapa, Estonia, April 6, 2017. The U.S. soldiers, assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, participated to boost the capabilities of the Estonian forces under the NATO-led Operation Atlantic Resolve. Army photo by Jason Johnston
Estonia Exercise
Estonian and U.S. soldiers train during a combat exercise at the Estonian Central Training Area near Tapa, Estonia, April 6, 2017. The U.S. soldiers, assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, participated to boost the capabilities of the Estonian forces under the NATO-led Operation Atlantic Resolve. Army photo by Jason Johnston
Photo By: Jason Johnston
VIRIN: 170406-A-RY767-281C

Estonia uses defense-related aid from the United States as an accelerator for defense investments to develop Estonia's independent defense capability and concluding possible joint procurements with other Baltic republics.

At the core of cyber defense cooperation is training, information exchange, planning and capability development — with the goal to improve the countries' capability to cope with the opponents' cyberattack operations.  

Broad-based national defense principles are adhered to within the cooperation plan when it comes to dealing with security problems, and cooperation with the police and border guard board, in addition to defense forces and defense league.

Estonian and U.S. soldiers conduct live-fire training during a combat exercise near Tapa, Estonia, April 6, 2017. The U.S. soldiers participated to boost the capabilities of the Estonian forces under the NATO-led Operation Atlantic Resolve. Army photo by Jason Johnston
Smoke Rings
Estonian and U.S. soldiers conduct live-fire training during a combat exercise near Tapa, Estonia, April 6, 2017. The U.S. soldiers participated to boost the capabilities of the Estonian forces under the NATO-led Operation Atlantic Resolve. Army photo by Jason Johnston
Photo By: Jason Johnston
VIRIN: 170406-A-RY767-220C

Cooperation in the specified fields increases defense cooperation between Estonia and the United States, improves Estonia's independent defense capability and contributes to strengthening NATO's deterrence and defense posture on NATO's eastern wing, officials said, adding that specific activities for implementing defense cooperation between Estonia and the United States will be agreed upon at future bilateral meetings.