ETV Dives Into the Murky World of Estonia's Crack Commando Unit
Wednesday's ETV program "Pealtnägija" was allowed unprecedented access to the Defense Forces' special operations unit, or EOG (Erioperatsioonide Grupp).
“We are unveiling some information about us to let people know that we are not boogeymen or suspicious characters about whom very little is known,” Lieutenant Colonel Riho Ühtegi, the head of the unit, told ETV. “People interested in joining our ranks must have access to the information,” he said.
As part of the program, a "Pealtnägija" journalist entered the trials to join the unit alongside a group of 20- to 37-year-old hopefuls.
The idea to set up a special forces unit in the Defense Forces was first conceived in 1998, but it took the forces another decade to realize the idea, with the move given impetus by the 2007 Bronze Night riots.
The unit is under the direct command of the military's commander-in-chief, Riho Terras, and must be ready in one hour for deployment. Ühtegi said any ten men from his unit must be able to defeat a company of 120 men.
According to the lieutenant colonel, the unit has been training local forces in Afghanistan since 2012, where it has the right to assist in firefights if needed. ETV speculated that the EOG has also taken part in operations in the country in cooperation with its US counterparts, the Navy SEALs.