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Estonia Becomes Newest Player in Cyber Defense

Article by Senior Airman Sarah M. McClanahan, 175th Wing

The Estonian Defence Forces held a ceremony August 1, 2018, officially activating their own, independent cyber command which created an organization within the EDF that is solely dedicated to cyber operations and information operations.

“This [activation] puts them on the world stage as one of the few nations to actually have a military cyber command,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Jori Robinson, 175th Wing vice commander and former 175th Cyberspace Operations Group commander. “It legitimizes the efforts they have gone through in creating and elevating cyber as a key aspect of the warfighting domain.”

Lt. Col. Rene Innos, Estonian Defence Force Staff and Signal Battalion commander, receives the guidon August 1, 2018, during the opening ceremony of the new Estonia Cyber Command at the Cyber Center of Excellence, Tallinn, Estonia.


In addition to Robinson, other members of the Maryland National Guard, including U.S. Air Force Col. Vic Macias, 175th Cyberspace Operations Group commander, traveled to attend the ceremony to provide support and as a testament to the relationship with the EDF created by the State Partnership Program in 1993.

The MDNG and EDF have spent the past 25 years building a partnership founded in trust, something that is especially critical in the cyber domain, said Macias.

In addition to maintaining and expanding this trust, the MDNG’s goal is to continue to provide support and assistance to the EDF in jointly achieving cyber defense and security cooperation goals. An organized cyber construct will allow the EDF to more efficiently work towards these goals.

“The Estonians will continue to grow and develop this organization,” said Robinson. “We look forward to working with them as they continue to develop and we look forward to sharing past experiences with them.”


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