Dutch – Estonian defence cooperation is active both bilaterally and within NATO. Estonia highly appreciates the military training opportunities provided by the Netherlands within the framework of different courses, exercises and visits. The Dutch Ministry of Defence has offered policy training courses to Estonian officers and officials at the International Staff Officers Orientation Courses, and also at the Belgian-Dutch mine disarming school EGUERIM. The Netherlands have supported the Baltic Defence College both through financial aid and by sending a lecturer to the school.
Estonia has procured and continues to procure various military hardware from the Netherlands. Since 2004 Estonia has purchased over 11,000 trucks and off-road vehicles, about 500 towed vehicles and staff trailers and 81 SISU XA-188 armored personnel carriers. During the Dutch Defence Minister’s visit to Tallinn on October 1, 2014 a bilateral letter of intent related to the introduction of the CV90 infantry fighting vehicles in Estonian defense forces was signed. According to the document, the defense forces of the two countries will exchange information about the training, tactics, ammunition used by, and training grounds of mechanised units. On October 1, 2014 a letter of intent was signed on the procurement of 44 CV90 infantry combat vehicles and support hardware from the Netherlands. The deliveries will be made during 2016. Dutch troops with CV90 infantry fighting vehicles participated in the Estonian Independence Day military parade (February 2015) and at a joint training exercise with the Estonian Scouts Battalion.
Dutch F-16 planes have participated in NATO’s air policing mission protecting the Baltic airspace (2005). Since September 2014 until the end of the year, five Dutch fighter jets are supporting the NATO’s Baltic States air policing mission from the Malbork Air Force Base in Poland. A Dutch Naval group consisting of a submarine, a frigate, a patrol ship and two support vessels will visit Estonia in the second half of October (2014).
At the NATO summit in Wales (Sept 2014) a letter of intent between Estonia, the United Kingdom, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands was signed in order to create a rapid reaction force, the so-called “joint expeditionary force”. The force will incorporate ground, seaborne and airborne units. It will hold military operations to defend allies and react to natural calamities and humanitarian crises. It also enables Estonia to carry on close cooperation with our allies from the ISAF operation in southern Afghanistan.