The structure of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) consists of five main domains. In addition to the traditional and more conventional Land Forces, Navy and Air Force, the EDF also include capabilities that are in coherence with current security situation i.e. Cyber Command and Special Operations Forces.
The Estonian Defence Forces are structured according to the principle of a reserve force, which means that the main part of the forces are units in the reserve. The basis for the training of the reserve force is compulsory military service, which lasts from 8 to 11 months, depending on profession and level of skills required. Every year, more than 3000 conscripts pass compulsory service and are periodically called up for reservist trainings to exercise drills and procedures, maintain leadership skills, conduct up to brigade size unit’s maneuvers and to train new arms and equipment.
Estonia became a member of NATO in 2004. Estonia's very first contribution to NATO was in 2005 when the flagship of the Estonian Navy Admiral Pitka served as staff and support ship of Standing NATO Response Force Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1). Currently Estonia is contributing to NATO missions in Afghanistan (Resolute Support) and in Iraq (the NATO Training Mission).
Since 2008 Estonia is host to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD COE) in Tallinn. The CCD COE conducts research and training on cyber warfare and develops NATO standards and capabilities for cyber defence.
On 2014 the Ämari Air Base become mission base for the NATO Baltic Air-Policing where Allied aircraft station and operate on rotational basis.
As part of NATO’s strengthened deterrence and defence posture the Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) was established in the Eastern Flank of the Alliance – in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. The unanimous decision was made by NATO members at the Warsaw Summit in 2016 and already next spring the Allied battalion size battlegroup arrived in Estonia. The Framework Nation is United Kingdom, while France, Denmark, Belgium and Iceland act as Troops Contributing Nations.
Estonia’s defence expenditure has been over 2% of GNP constantly since 2015 in order to support the development of national defence and ensure the necessary conditions and infrastructure to host Allied forces.
For more information visit EDF webpage (www.mil.ee/en) or contact the National Military Representative office at SHAPE.
Phone number +32 6544 6454
Special Operations Forces