Estonia, U.S. Work Together to Combat Mines

Wednesday, June 26

The U.S. European Command (EUCOM) Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) Program donated diving equipment to the Estonian Rescue Board and conducted a series of diver trainings throughout June 2019.

U.S. Navy Divers from the Navy Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU) were deployed June 2-16 as part of the EUCOM HMA Program to complete a two-week diver training in Estonia.  Through this program, NEDU provided a “Train the Trainer” team with four military subject matter experts to support instruction for diving supervisors on the operation of portable side-scan sonar systems for Rescue Board staff.

EUCOM purchased the required diving equipment through the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn and provided it to the Rescue Board.  Over the coming weeks, the United States will present additional equipment, including boats, engines, and trailers to assist with explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) efforts.

The Rescue Board recovers and destroys explosive remnants of war and has a specialized group of divers that conduct operations in lakes and rivers.  HMA Program support has strengthened Estonia’s ability to effectively plan for and execute these missions safely.  This collaboration is instrumental in enhancing the security cooperation between the United States and Estonia, and underscores the U.S. commitment to its close NATO Ally.

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.