British pair awarded Estonian Land Forces Medal
Two British Sergeants who served six months closely with the Estonian Company in northern Nad-e Ali, were awarded at the end of their tour with the Estonian Army Silver Cross of Merit.
The Commander of the Estonian Land Forces Colonel Indrek Sirel awarded Sergeant Wayne Shorthouse from 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (3PARA) and Sergeant Kevin Tomlinson from 1st Battalion Irish Guards for the cooperation and great support provided by the NCO`s to the Estonian Company in Helmand.
Sergeant Wayne Shorthouse was assigned to the Estonian Company as a 3 PARA Liaison Officer. Sergeant Kevin Tomlinson from Irish Guards served as the Afghan National Army advisor in the area of responsibility of the Estonian Company.
Medals were presented on Friday’s line up in Patrol Base Wahid by the OC of the Estonian Company.
Major Ranno Raudsik, Officer Commanding EST COY, said:
“We appreciate the support provided by the British NCO`s to our Company. Both Sergeants showed initiative and stayed professional even in most difficult situations. Thanks to their dedication there was good information exchange with the Battle Group and we can rely on the ANA during the patrols.”
Sergeant Kevin Tomlinson, ANA Adviser, 1st Battalion Irish Guards, said:
“It`s been quite easy to serve with Estonians, they are good blokes. Different personality to the Brits but still we get along well.”
Sergeant Wayne Shorthouse, 3 PARA Liaison Officer, said:
“I found that Estonians are very professional soldiers.”
The Estonian Army Silver Cross of Merit is the highest Land Forces medal for NCO`s. The medal has been presented since 2004 and it`s given to NCO`s for the contribution of development of the Land Forces. There are only two foreign NCO`s who have received it previously, one of them is British.
Most of the 164 Estonian troops in Afghanistan are based in Patrol Base Wahid and surrounding checkpoints in northern Nad-e Ali, where they work alongside British troops from 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment to drive out insurgent elements, restore peace and stability to communities, and develop the capability of Afghanistan’s own armed forces.