TALLINN - Kristjan Prikk, secretary general of the Estonian Ministry of Defense, on Friday handed 87 mission medals to the defense personnel who have served on international military operations.
Prikk underscored that Estonia has been participating in various military operations for 25 years and the professionalism and skills of Estonian troops have helped create and strengthen allied relations during this time.
"Diligent service is the business card of the Republic of Estonia. Estonia's allies and partner states in NATO and the European Union highly appreciate the professionalism of Estonian defense personnel," Prikk said.
"The practical experience obtained on operations by serving side by side with our allies and the guaranteed political reliability are invaluable in terms of Estonia's defense," Prikk said.
"Participating in ensuring our security today in Estonia are British, Danish, French and US troops -- we are brothers-in-arms with all these states in mission areas," he said.
The visibility of the operation Barkhane in Mali has been particularly notable this year. Prikk pointed out that Estonia's contribution to the Takuba Task Force has strengthened bilateral relations with France.
"French units are also currently present at Amari air base for the purpose of improving deterrence in our region," he said.
Mission medals were conferred on the defense personnel who served in international military operations in Mali, Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon and Italy.