Members of an elite French Army airborne regiment were decorated with mission medals at a ceremony at Tapa barracks last week.
The company-sized deployment of 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment (1er Régiment de chasseurs parachutistes) personnel received its medals from Maj. Gen. Riho Ühtegi, head of the Estonian Defense League (Kaitseliit), along with acting Undersecretary for Legal and Administrative Affairs at the Ministry of Defense, Asko Kiviuk.
The unit had been deployed to Estonia via bilateral agreement and forms a part of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) division, a newly created formation which also includes a British Army brigade in its set-up.
As such, the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment deployment did not form a part of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup, founded in 2017 and permanently based in Estonia and to which the French are the main contributor, in addition to lead nation the U.K.
The 1er Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes, 1er R.C.P, was established as a part of the Free French Forces during World War Two, and served in that conflict, in France’s colonial wars in Vietnam and Algeria, and more recently in theaters such as Kosovo, Afghanistan and Mali. The regiment is part of the 11th Parachute Brigade.