Defense League Marks 95th Anniversary
The Estonian home guard celebrated its 95th anniversary over the weekend in the border town of Narva with a defense conference, a gathering of members and an equipment exhibition for the locals.
Brigadier General Meelis Kiil, who heads the organization, said that the Defense League's mission is not purely wartime defense, but also security during times of peace.
Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu said that the force also helps police and rescue workers, and educates youths.
Its members, including the youth and female wings, currently number around 23,000, but plans have been made to increase the size to 30,000 members.
The voluntary army was founded on November 11, 1918, one day after German forces withdrew from Estonian territory.