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President Ilves to the US soldiers in Estonia: your presence will make the trans-Atlantic bond tangible for all of us


The President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, greeted the newly arrived 150-member company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade of the United States Army today at the Ämari Airbase in Estonia.

The Head of State recalled the rhymes of this combat unit: these soldiers are ready to defend freedom, anytime, anyplace.

This is also what Estonia has done – in the Wahid Patrol Base, deep inside the territory controlled by the Taliban, in Iraq, and also from next week in South Africa where we will be protecting the freedom of others, President Ilves said.

He described the trans-Atlantic bond as one of the keys to security in our insecure world: "This is why we appreciate the presence of the fighters of our allies in Estonia."

According to President Ilves, the arrival of the company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade to Estonia demonstrates the visibility of the trans-Atlantic bond to both the Estonian people and others who are supposed to see it; this is what makes the presence of NATO tangible.

"It is people who make history and you are among them," President Ilves told.

The soldiers of the United States of America will participate in Estonia with other allied units based here in the large-scale combat exercise, Kevadtorm (Spring Storm). According to the plans, the units of the United States of America will remain in Estonia in their current number and formation until at least the end of the year.

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