Lieutenant General John S. Kolasheski, Commanding General V Corps U.S. Army, was in Estonia for a two-day visit to meet with Defence Minister Kalle Laanet, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Defence Kusti Salm, and Deputy Commander of the Defence Forces Major General Veiko-Vello Palm. At the heart of the discussions were regional security, collective defence and the activities of the V Corps in Europe. The impact of Zapad 2021, the upcoming large-scale Russian training exercise, and the hybrid action by the Belarusian regime against Lithuania on the security of the Baltic Sea region were also discussed.
‘The United States is one of Estonia’s most important allies, and V Corps also has an important role to play in Estonia’s defence, primarily in the commanding of ground forces in Europe. It is important to us that we were able to discuss the most pressing security issues in the Baltic Sea region with Lieutenant General John Kolasheski, which is without doubt the hybrid operation taking place against Lithuania at the moment,’ said Defence Minister Laanet, who said that Estonia’s military cooperation with the United States is multifaceted and that comprehensive planning and training-related cooperation with V Corps is of key importance in ensuring deterrence and protection.
“We are excited about the U.S. decision to re-activate the well-known V Corps and applaud both the speed and perseverance with which this deliberate process has been executed. Nowadays, battles are fought in the information or cyber domains, but we also need hard firepower and real fighting units. The Corps is definitely well-suited for this’, said Major General Veiko-Vello Palm, Deputy Commander of the Defence Forces, during a meeting with Lt. Gen. John Kolasheski. ´In Estonia, we are looking at every possibility to make us better, and V Corps helps us to improve our national defence at every level – from individual soldiers to the highest military leadership, he added.
I am pleased to have the opportunity to visit and meet with senior leaders from the Estonian Defense Forces and Ministry of Defense’, said Lt. Gen. John Kolasheski, commanding general, V Corps. “This is an important relationship and we look forward to expanding it as V Corps’ responsibilities in Europe grow,” Lieutenant General Kolasheski added.
U.S. Army V Corps was reactivated in autumn 2020, and is responsible for the operational planning and commanding of rotating US ground forces into Europe. The headquarters for U.S Army V Corps is located in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and its Forward Command is located in Poznań, Poland.
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Lieutenant General John S. Kolasheski, Commanding General V Corps U.S. Army, and Defence Minister Kalle Laanet.