View Full Version : Still Willing: A Look at Estonian Military Deployments Abroad

08-12-2010, 05:58 PM
Still Willing: A Look at Estonian Military Deployments Abroad (http://news.err.ee/politics/b8beff85-8a84-4937-979f-15d04ad08928)

When parliament reconvenes in the fall, one of the issues they will consider is troop deployments on foreign soil.

Under the defense ministry's proposal, soldiers would be deployed in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq, other parts of the Middle East and with the European Unionís Nordic Combat Group.

Under the International Military Cooperation Act, the parliament must approve decisions on use of defense forces in military operations abroad. A simple majority is necessary to pass the resolutions.

A look at each contingent:

The largest foreign mission for the Estonian defense forces will continue to be its involvement in the NATO-led ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) in Afghanistan, where 160 to 165 troops would be stationed on a continuous basis next year.

Up to three staff officers and NCOs would continue to serve in the NATO-led Kosovo Force, or KFOR.

Estoniaís presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2011 would consist of up to three staff officers and NCOs stationed in the European Union contingent in Sarajevo. As the current security mission may in the near future turn into an advisory and training mission, the Estonian staff officers stationed there may be replaced next year by an equal number of instructors.

In Iraq, Estonian defense forces would continue to serve in the NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) with up to three NCOs.

The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization: Estonia would continue to have three troops deployed in this Middle East mission. The objective of the UNTSO military observers is to verify adherence to the ceasefire.

Besides the above mandates, the parliament will also consider a draft resolution for the deployment of the Estonian staff defense platoon and staff officers in the European Unionís Nordic Combat Group Ė up to 53 troops. That contingent will be ready in the first half of 2011.

In addition to experiences gained, compensation is another reason Estonian soldiers are ready to serve abroad. The average Estonian soldier serving at home earns 767 euros per month, while those deployed aboard earn up to 2,556 euros per month.