Defense League's Orkaan exercise to kick off on Friday

EDL members participating in the large-scale Siil exercise. May 2018.
EDL members participating in the large-scale Siil exercise. May 2018. Source: Martin Andreller, Karri Kaas/

From Friday through Sunday, the western district of the Defense League volunteer corps together with allies and partners will stage an exercise codenamed Orkaan XV ("Hurricane XV"), in which nearly 1,000 uniformed personnel will take part.

Orkaan is an annual exercise bringing together the Pärnu, Saaremaa and Lääne districts, in which the three districts making up the western regional command practice national defense activities in four counties. The districts will rehearse cooperation between their subunits, territorial defense and interaction with various agencies and the local population.

"The Defense League is like a protective layer covering the entire state - Defense League volunteers together with the local people create a safety network that helps us through crises," Lt. Col. Tõnu Miil, head of the western regional command, said.

"Our goal is to defend and support the nation in case of both a military and non-military threat and this is exercise will enable us rehearse these activities together with the police, local governments and people," Miil added.

Kaido Koplas, head of the West Prefecture of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), said that in the course of the exercise, the police in cooperation with the Defense League will rehearse guarding the Estonian-Latvian border in a situation of irregular migration and with the need emerging to curb it.

"The West Prefecture has also rehearsed such activities earlier this year; in addition to the activities planned in Pärnu County, we will also rehearse procedures relating to the guarding of objects in Lääne County and in Saaremaa and Hiiumaa," Koplas said.

During the exercise, there will be more equipment of the Defense League and its cooperation partners on the move across western Estonia than usual, and the personnel involved in the exercise will also be active near the roads.

The organizers kindly ask residents to remember that simulation devices will be used during the exercise, which means that the noise level in the area of battles may be higher than usual. No  combat activity will be conducted during the night. The use of blank rounds and other simulation devices will take place in accordance with the safety rules aimed at ensuring the safety of the participants in the exercise are others.

This year's exercise covers the entire area of responsibility of the Western regional command, and Defense League activity can be seen in Pärnu and Lääne counties and on Hiiumaa and Saaremaa islands. Nearly 1,000 Defense League volunteers, members of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) and cooperation partners will take part in the exercise. 


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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