Defense Minister: Thanks to Siil, professional army is off the agenda for good (13)
Minister of Defence Sven Mikser, who paid a visit to the Defense Forces mobilization exercise Siil, said the Estonian national defense system is functioning impressively and the successful exercise has put an end to talk of switching over to a fully professional army.
"I observed the planning stage and the exercise itself very closely. Estonia’s national defense model is functioning very well," said Mikser after the visit to Siil. "On the basis of the first overall assessments I can already confirm that Siil was a success. The Estonian mobilization system works and our people have a high commitment to defending their country. Chief of Defense Lt. Gen. Riho Terras and the Defense Forces general staff deserve top marks for successfully passing such an important exam."
Mikser said it was now the time to draw conclusions and analyze the lessons for continuing to develop the reserves and the mobilization system.
He added that he was grateful to reservists, members of the Defense League and their employers in the civilian world, for what he called a noteworthy contribution to Estonian military defense.
Siil 2015, which winds up today and covered all of Estonia, was the largest Defense Forces exercise in the country's history. Siil is being carried out in place of the annual Kevadtorm (Spring Storm, now known as Steadfast Javelin) exercise. It involved over 13,000 reservists, Defense League members, conscripts, active duty members and NATO troops.