Baltic states, Poland play key role in defense of NE Europe - NATO

  • 2020-06-26
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Commander of the Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum Gen. Jorg Vollmer, who visited Estonia on Friday, said that the Baltic states and Poland have a key role to play in defending northeastern Europe.

"The Baltic states and Poland are an important and central region from the perspective of the protection of northeastern Europe, it was a natural choice for my first foreign visit," Vollmer said.

At a meeting with Estonian defense chief Maj. Gen. Martin Herem, Volmer received an overview of the activities and current situation of the Estonian defense forces and discussed issues related to regional security with the commander of the defense forces.

"Our views on the threats and needs of northeastern Europe are the same, we both see the security of our region as a unified whole. We must take regional security into account when developing and strengthening national capabilities," Herem said.

"The Estonian reserve service system, together with the snap exercises organized in recent years, is impressive and efficient, and confirms that Estonia is ready to defend itself as well as to contribute to collective defense. I thank the Estonian defense forces for their important contribution to supporting the NATO battle group as well as for their contribution to the NATO Response Force, air policing and the Resolute Support operation in Afghanistan. All this demonstrates the readiness of collective defense, which is one of the cornerstones of NATO," Vollmer said.

According to the chief of Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum, the restrictions caused by the coronavirus did not reduce the impact on security in the region. "We can be proud of our soldiers. During the pandemic, they helped our societies and, more importantly, they maintained their presence, continued their exercises, albeit on a reduced scale, but the rotation of battle groups continued, the air policing mission continued and we saw the major naval exercise Baltops in the last few weeks. European defense was never threatened during the spread of the virus," he said.

Gen. Jorg Vollmer assumed command of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum on April 22, 2020. This week's visit to the Baltic states and Poland was his first official foreign visit as commander to allied countries.

Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum in the Netherlands is one of three NATO operational level commands in NATO Allied Command Operations  that coordinates NATO operations in Northern Europe, the activity of allied battle groups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland and the Baltic air policing mission, and is responsible for collective defense. The NATO Multinational Corps Northeast is under the command of JFC Brunssum. In addition, JFC Brunssum is responsible for leading the NATO Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.