Reinsalu to soldiers in Afghanistan: we are with you in our thoughts!
Rahvusvahelised uudised 27 Dec 2012  EWR
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Ministry of Defence 24.12.2012
Minister of Defence Urmas Reinsalu sent a video greeting to soldiers serving in Afghanistan, wishing them merry Christmas and soldier’s luck for the coming year.

“I wish you a merry Christmas. May it be as peaceful as it can be on the field of battle,” said Minister of Defence Reinsalu in his video greeting. “Serving far from home you have kept the reputation of Estonian soldiers high and you have served Estonia bravely. Thanks to your service abroad, the people of Estonian can celebrate around their Christmas tables. We are all with you in our thoughts.”

The Minister of Defence expressed his hope that the Christmas presents sent from home have already reached the Estonian soldiers in Afghanistan. The Minister of Defence sent every fighter a cooked smoked sausage from Estonia.

In his greeting, the Minister of Defence spoke of the draft resolution for the new ten year national defence development plan and of the Veterans Policy that was approved by the government just before Christmas.

“The Parliament has approved the national budget for 2013. From 1 April of next year, when the new Defence Forces Service Act enters into force, the salaries of all contract servicemen will be increased,” said Minister of Defence Reinsalu. “The biggest salary increase is meant for soldiers, non-commissioned officers and junior officers; meaning all those men and women who are serving Estonia on the battlefield.”

Speaking about the new national defence development plan, the Minister of Defence stressed its goal to increase Estonia’s actual military defence capability and the fire power of the Estonian Army, and to bring the Defence Forces to the next stage of development. The development plan foresees increasing the rapid response capabilities and the number of personnel of the Defence Forces, giving the National Defence League a leading role in territorial defence, as well as new armaments and equipment.

“I wish you a pause from operations for Christmas Eve, even if it is small one, and for peace at the Christmas table,” said the Minister of Defence. “I also wish you soldier’s luck, which every man and woman in Afghanistan certainly needs. We are thinking of you!”

The Estonian contingent serving in Afghanistan until the spring of 2013 is under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Toomas Möls. The infantry company Estcoy-15, under the command of Major Tõnis Metjer, continues serving at patrol base Pimon, supported out of Camp Bastion by the national logistic support element NSE-14 under the command of Captain Rauno Mäe. In addition to the infantry company there are also staff officers serving in the Estonian contingent in Afghanistan.
 
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