A NATO exercise began this week in Spain with the scenario of a naval response to the invasion of an allied country, with ERR reporting that the exercise around the fictitious invasion of Estonia's second largest island, Hiiumaa, by the foreign country of "Bothnia."
Estonia is sending plenty of observers to the exercise, including members of the Defense Force, the Defense League, and the ministries of defense, interior, and economic affairs. Also participating are members of the Baltic Defense College, the Office of the Prime Minister, and the Health Board.
The exercise is dubbed Trident Jaguar, and is taking place in Spain's Balearic Islands near Menorca. It is a command post exercise that will certify the maritime component of the NATO Response Force, the alliance’s fast-reaction force.
Two NATO task forces; Naval Striking Force NATO out of Naples, Italy, and NATO Rapid Deployable Corps-Spain, are involved in the certification process which involves staff officers and commanders at the headquarters level. The exercise will run until Friday, May 16.
The same kind of invasion exercise was run in last year's operation Steadfast Jazz, which was a major NATO exercise that hypothesized the fall of the Baltic states and Poland.
The certificiation of the NATO Response Force had been planned long before the events in Ukraine, where the annexation of Crimea and the agitation in the east of the country has brought NATO troops and planes to Eastern Europe in greater numbers, including Estonia.
NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen is in Estonia today and tomorrow to meet with military and government officials.