US Marines who arrived in Estonia ahead of the 47th annual maritime exercise, Baltic Operations (BALTOPS), are visiting schools and local communities to teach youths about first aid, orienteering and teamwork.
The Marines arrived in Tallinn on 25 May ahead of the BALTOPS exercise that will take place in Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia from 9-21 June with 18 nations engaging, including the United States, the US embassy in Tallinn said in a statement.
The visiting Marines began their tour of Estonia in Tallinn by taking young people from a local youth centre on a day excursion and picnic at a nearby nature trail over the weekend. They also joined with the Estonian Defence League and civil defence students in Lääne County for an overnight camp, where they shared some tips on land navigation, combat medicine, and camouflage techniques with the students.
America’s ongoing partnership
The team is also visiting Tartu and Narva, where they will lead demonstrations on basic survival, self-defence, military leadership and first aid for schools, Scouts and Guides, and attendees at the Narva Youth Festival.
The Marines are also going to cheer on participants at the Narva Soap Box Derby – a downhill race of motor-less vehicles – including a US military team competing in the race.
The US has provided more than USD100 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 involving US personnel in Estonia. These community engagements led by the Marines demonstrate America’s ongoing partnership not just with Estonia’s military but with its people as well.
Cover: Estonian civil defence students learn first aid from US Marines. Image courtesy of the US Embassy in Estonia.