US Air Force chief to visit Estonia, mark Estonian Air Force centenary

General David L. Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, is to visit Estonia July 13-14, marking the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Estonian Air Force (Eesti Õhuvägi).

The visit will include meetings with Estonian Ministry of Defence personnel, as well as those from the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF), according to a U.S. Embassy press release.

“I want to congratulate the Estonian Air Force on the hundredth anniversary of their establishment, and underline the value their service members bring to NATO.,” said Gen. Goldfein ahead of his trip.

“Moreover, air and naval assets are vitally import to maintaining access to NATO members in the Baltic region, and Estonia’s Air Force plays a critical role in accomplishing that.  We respect and appreciate our Estonian counterparts, not just as allies, but as partners to teach and learn from while we improve our Alliance’s interoperability by air, by land, by sea, and today, in the cyber realm,” he continued.

Gen. Goldfein is also attending Saturday’s air show at Ämari Air Base, which will feature a U.S. F-35 stealth fighter among other attractions.

Prior to his current role, Gen. Goldfein was the Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, where he presided over the Air Staff and served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Requirements Oversight Council and Deputy Advisory Working Group.  Prior to that, he was Director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon.

The U.S. has provided more than $100 million in combined security assistance to Estonia over the last several years, and conducts nearly 150 military-to-military engagements per year, with over 60 of those taking place with U.S. personnel in Estonia.

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