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Cap. Tiit Kirsipuu

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen, Generals, I am a representative of Estonia and represent the investigation and military police unit of the Estonian General Staff. I have been asked to give a brief presentation on our co-operation experience with the Carabinieri. Nowadays, the investigation and Estonian General Staff military police unit is responsible for the co-operation of the MSU within the Centre for Estonian peace operations. Its main task is to co-ordinate all activities in Estonia and in the area of the mission. Another task is the training of personnel. In this latter sector changes are underway and we are co-ordinating the development process. We started working in international missions in ’95,with a UN mission in Croatia and today we are also in Iraq. At present there are almost 700 people employed in missions and it is an honour for us to take part in these missions. Today I can easily say that some of our men have already taken part in six missions. As many foreign countries, we are good neighbours of the Carabinieri and are part of the same family and our troops are in Kosovo where we have a platoon - ESTPATROL-9, staffed by 22 men. A total of 200 people were engaged in this mission.

These troops have the capacity of carrying out limited police operations. As for our plans for the future, we would like to continue our missions and our co-operation with the Carabinieri and also enhance the police capacity of our men in order to be able to carry out the missions. This year the Estonian military police unit started taking care of the premission training. In future we would like to improve the system now available. We shall continue to work with the peace operation Centre, but in future we wish to become entirely responsible for the mission. I would now l ike to inform you on our military police. We have a unit, a General Staff, divided into several sections; we have some sub-units called Estonian patrols. The co-ordination of these sub-units, that is of the Estonian patrols is one of the main tasks.

The military police section within which I work is responsible for this co-ordination. Nowadays we already have ten platoons; it is the first time the military police designates a platoon and a deputy commander; in future we shall also have squad leaders chosen among the military police. The training centre is in Tallin, our capital. We have a training period and from one to three platoons train at the same time. It is very important for us to be able to create professional military police units. Today we mostly employ conscripts who, however, are not sent on missions. The people sent on a mission must have a specific training carried out in our peacekeeping centre. This is part of my presentation. Now I have a message on behalf of my Commander, the Chief of Staff; a message for the Carabinieri Corps. Here is his message: “On behalf of the Estonian police, the Estonian soldiers I wish to thank, the Carabinieri Corps and its Commander.

I am very pleased of the opportunity given to some of our officers to take part in this seminar. The experience we gained by working together with the Carabinieri is extremely precious. In this field, Italy has played a fundamental role. Estonia truly appreciates this experience; in the Balkan States we are the only ones who were so fortunate to have this opportunity. Since 1999, when we started our co-operation on a large scale with the Carabinieri Corps, our co-operation with NATO has become more and more operational. 48 Today we are proud to say that we have already homaged the patrol in Kosovo and I am convinced that all of the men involved will honour Estonia by these operations and are important partners for us. The Estonian defense forces are making good use of the experience gained by co-operating wi th the MSU and their work as peace co-ordinators to raise co-operation to a very high degree.

Estonia has started to establish its own professional police and what we have achieved internationally enhances the interest in obtaining ever more professional advice. The next mission will still be under the Italian leadership, under the Carabinieri. It has been prepared in co-operation with the Estonian military police and we have great expectations and will always appreciate the experience of the Carabinieri who are always highly prepared and willing to share their experience and know-how. I therefore wish the Carabinieri and the men at their service all the best on behalf of all my armed force. I also have a present from the Estonian police and our Chief of Staff to thank you for the co-operation and assistance. Thank you.

(*) - Transcript from an audio recording.
(**) - Captain of the Investigation and Military Police Department of the Estonian General Staff.