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NATO's top commander in Europe visits Estonia

TALLINN - NATO's supreme allied commander Europe (SACEUR), Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, visited Estonia on Friday to look at the 1st Infantry Brigade stationed at Tapa and soldiers of the NATO battle group serving in the composition of the brigade.

In remarks released through spokespeople for the Estonian defense headquarters, Scaparrotti described cooperation among different nations in the NATO battle group as clearly demonstrating the commitment of allies to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which commits each member state to consider an attack against one member state to be an attack against them all.

"With prepositioned NATO battle groups we can conduct training just like we would be doing in a real situation of countering an enemy -- in a joint, capable and integrated manner," the general said according to remarks published in Estonian.  

In addition to looking at the training of the 1st Infantry Brigade and the allies, Scaparrotti met with the commander of the Estonian defense forces, Gen. Riho Terras, and deputy commander of the defense forces Maj. Gen. Indrek Sirel.

Scaparrotti left Estonia on Friday evening.

Two weeks from now will mark the first anniversary of the formal start of the service of the allied battle group at the Tapa military base in Estonia.

The battle group consisting of over 1,000 personnel, then made up of British and French soldiers, started service at Tapa last April. A Danish contingent currently serves as the smaller component of the battle group alongside soldiers from Britain, the lead nation of the battle group.

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