Estonian and Finnish defense forces personnel serving in Iraq conducted a joint operation in close protection earlier this week, aimed at ensuring a safe passage for US military advisors to a meeting with representatives of the Iraqi armed forces.
“I highly appreciate such opportunities to jointly plan and conduct personal protection operations with the Estonian unit. These provide an additional opportunity to develop the unit’s professionalism,” said the head of the Finnish security team, identified in the press release by his first name as Johannes.
The Finnish staff sergeant added that in his opinion, Estonian and Finnish units share a similar approach to their service tasks, with a focus on thorough planning and precision.
“The joint operation allows our soldiers to practice the performance of tasks with the Finnish unit, following common procedures. Being part of a multinational security unit is certainly good for the expertise of the soldiers, as there are a few additional aspects to consider in each post. We have found a good fit with the Finnish unit,” said Estcoy-19 platoon commander 2nd Lt. Mattias Jogi.
The aim of the US-led operation Inherent Resolve is to advise and support the local security forces until they are able to independently defeat the Islamic terrorist group Daesh, creating the conditions for further security cooperation. Estonia decided to join the US-led military coalition in Iraq within the framework of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) in 2016. From April 2023, Estonia has a company-sized unit serving in OIR
The current contingent in Iraq, the second one, has been fulfilling its mission for almost four months. The Estonian contingent in Iraq includes staff officers and non-commissioned officers in the military advisory group, the Estcoy-19 infantry company and a national support element. By participating in the operation, Estonia makes a direct contribution to the fight against terrorism and other serious security threats affecting Europe and NATO member states, military spokespeople in Tallinn said.
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