Estonia's civil-military cooperation unit is testing its skills for the first time in the Nordic Battlegroup (NBG) exercise Joint Action 14 in Sweden.
Major Avo Aljas, the head of the seven-strong cooperation unit, said that they have practiced cooperating with the Swedish ambulance services, police and military police. The unit's key mission during the NBG exercise is to create a communications network and support the local civil authorities.
The multinational Joint Action 14, 10 days long and ending today, is the NBG's final exercise, comprising approximately 2,400 participants. Led by Sweden, it also involves servicemen from Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania and Norway. Estonia is represented by 50 officers.
During the exercise the different units of the Quick Response Force practice together to be able to deploy to conflict areas in short notice. Once deployed, they are expected to perform peace-enforcing and peace-keeping tasks, as well as evacuating and supporting the civilian community in times of crisis.
Estonia contributes to the NBG with civil-military cooperation, military police, bomb disposal and military geography units, as well as a national support element.
Estonian cooperation unit, consisting of members of the Defense Forces and the Defense League, received a thorough training prior to the international exercise. "Before the exercise, we took part of the civil-military cooperation training offered by the Americans and practiced cooperation with the Swedish infantry, whose operations we are also supporting here," Aljas said.
NBG is one of the 18 European Union Battlegroups. It was established in 2008.