Brig. Gen. Meelis Kiili, commander, Estonian Defense
Brig. Gen. Meelis Kiili, commander, Estonian Defense League, speaks to more than 100 service members from six countries participating in the second annual Admiral Pitka Recon Challenge Aug. 9 at Rakvere Castle in Rakvere, Estonia. Hosted by the Estonian Defense League and including teams from the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the Maryland National Guard, this three-day competition tested the teams’ strength, speed, endurance, intelligence and willpower through a series of obstacles and simulations along an 81-mile route through Estonia’s countryside. Paratroopers with the 173rd Abn. Bde. are deployed for training in Estonia as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, an exercise dedicated to demonstrating commitment to NATO obligations and sustaining interoperability with allied forces. The Maryland National Guard and Estonian armed forces have been partners through the State Partnership Program for more than 20 years.