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Congresswoman Elise Stefanik

Representing the 21st District of New York

Stefanik Leads Congressional Delegation Visit to Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine

February 26, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21), Member of the House Armed Services Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, has returned from a Congressional Delegation visit to Latvia, Estonia, and the Ukraine. The seven day CODEL took place from February 17th-24th; joining Rep. Stefanik was Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD-4).

“I was pleased to lead this delegation visit to meet first-hand with partner nations in the Baltics and Eastern Europe,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “The CODEL focused specifically on national security issues and partnership engagement activities within the areas of Information Warfare, cyber operations, irregular warfare and special operations, and Defense programs designed to strengthen partner nation and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) capabilities.

“The timing of this trip was important as many of the briefings and discussions centered on countering Russian information warfare issues. Throughout the trip we emphasized the importance of the NATO Alliance and bilateral relationships, including contributions from U.S. active duty and National Guard forces from New York and Maryland.

“I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with constituents deployed in Ukraine as part of the New York National Guard, which trains at Fort Drum. I also attended briefings in Estonia where the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade has previously been deployed.

“This trip was also an opportunity to visit with our proud partners in Latvia and Estonia on the eve of their 100th Anniversary of Independence as sovereign states. As the Chair of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, I will continue to work in a bipartisan fashion with my colleagues on the Committee to ensure we have the resources and strategy necessary to keep our nation safe.”

Congresswoman Stefanik’s Congressional Delegation Visit Included stops in:

Latvia: The delegation conducted meetings and briefings with the U.S. Ambassador and Country Team at the Embassy. High level meetings and briefings were conducted at both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense. The delegation was also received by the Speaker of the Latvian Parliament, Ms. Inara Murniece. The delegation also conducted a roundtable meeting with members of Latvian press, including blogs and think-tanks.

Estonia: The delegation conducted meetings and briefings with the U.S. Ambassador and Country Team at the Embassy. The delegation met with the Senior representatives from the Estonia Ministry of Defense and Foreign Affairs. The delegation also met with the National Digital Advisor to the President and the NATO Cyber Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCDCOE). The visit to CCDCOE was followed by briefing and meetings with Estonia and U.S. forces based at Amari Air Base and a briefing from the Estonian Deputy Chief of Defense (CHOD) at the Defense Force Headquarters.     

Ukraine: The delegation conducted meetings and briefings with the U.S. Ambassador and Country Team at the Embassy. The delegation then toured the Ukraine Center for Disease Control and Monitoring, which receives funding and technical assistance from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to improve biosecurity and standards. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the delegation. The delegation traveled to Brovary where they were met and briefed by the Commander of Ukrainian Special Operations Forces (SOF). The final day in Ukraine was spent in Yavroriv, the largest Ukrainian training base and in the Western section of the country. While at Yavroriv, the delegation was hosted by the Ukrainian Commander of the Combined Training Center (CTC) and the Joint Multinational Training Group – Ukraine (JMTG-U), which is Commanded by members of the N.Y National Guard which trains at Fort Drum. 

For high quality images, please contact Tom Flanagin.