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US general: Defense begins at home, Estonia is doing exactly what it should be doing

Lt. Gen. Frederick Ben Hodges, the commanding general of US Army forces in Europe, talked to ERR about the nationwide mobilization exercise Siil/Steadfast Javelin and Estonia's security situation.

“I was very impressed with what I saw of Estonian soldiers, from General Terras on down, the quality of the exercise, the ability to mobilize 10,000 reservists,” Hodges said, adding that he was very impressed with the scale of the exercise.

Hodges also lauded Estonian soldiers' camouflage skills and their ability to move seamlessly through forest terrain.

Asked about the security situation, Hodges said that in his opinion, Estonia is doing exactly what it should be doing. “The political, civilian leadership here has made hard, smart choices to invest - Estonia is a leader in the Alliance in that regard,” he said, adding that Estonia has understood that “defense begins at home first.” Estonia is doing the necessary preparation and modernizing its army.

Hodges also noted that he expects joint Atlantic Resolve exercises to continue and he sees further cooperation potential with the Baltic Defense College in Tartu.

Editor: M. Oll

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