President Kersti Kaljulaid met incoming NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) commander, Col. Paul Clayton, of the British army, on Wednesday.
Col. Clayton recently started his two-year stint in the role, replacing Col. Giles Harris, whose tenure ended recently.
“It is good to see and hear that not only does the allied battle group increase Estonia’s defense capability, and the number of troops on standby, it also teaches both the allies [here], as well as NATO as a whole, many practical lessons to be taken into account when planning the defense of the Baltic states,” the president wrote on her social media account Wednesday, BNS reports.
The president also met Col. Damien de Besombes of the Légion étrangère (French Foreign Legion), and Maj. David Paltier, commander of the Belgian contingent at Tapa base, east of Tallinn, where the eFP is primarily located.
Maj. Paltier and the Chasseurs Ardennais, a Belgian mechanized infantry battalion which the president also expressed her gratitude towards, are ending their four-month rotation in Estonia; Col. De Besombes’ deployment officially starts on Thursday.
The president also extended her best wishes to the King’s Royal Hussars (KRH), an armored regiment from the British Army, which forms the core of the eFP at present.