On Tuesday evening, a team from the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Centre of the 1st Infantry Brigade’s Engineer Battalion will depart from Estonia for another mission to Northern Afghanistan.
“You are going on our longest and most dangerous mission,” Commander of the 1st Infantry Brigade Col. Vahur Karus said, sending the troops off. “Trust each other, lean on each other, and know that you always have our support.”
Estonian EOD teams began participating in missions in Northern Afghanistan in 2003. Following the deployment of Estonian infantry units to Southern Afghanistan, the teams joined the Estonian contingent.
Operations in Northern Afghanistan resumed for the EOD teams in 2014, when the final Estonian infantry company returned home from Afghanistan.
The Estonian team, which consists of three demining personnel and a liaison officer (LO) serves within the makeup of a German contingent in Mazar-i-Sharif. The team’s primary tasks include ensuring security at the contingent’s base, explosives detection as well as participation in a rapid response unit.
The EDF’s demining personnel serve in the EDF EOD Centre contingent, which is the EDF unit with the most mission experience. The EOD Centre trains demining personnel for both overseas missions as well as domestic service.