Reservists engaged in the large-scale SIIL exercise got the opportunity to use the Javelin anti-tank system this week, made even more famous by its use in combat against Russian Federation tanks used in that country's invasion of Ukraine, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported.
The live-firing took place at the Sirgala training area in Ida-Viru County, AK reported.
Lt. Col. Tarvo Luga, commander of the Viru infantry battalion (Viru jalaväepataljon), said the battalion was virtually at full complement for the exercise.
Of those who were exempted, he said: "The main reasons ... refer to graduations, as the study period falls exactly during the exam season and it would be unrealistic to begin to get a bachelor's or master's degree with that amount of study; next time they will come to the exercise."
Covid was another valid reason for exemption, he added.
SIIL, meaning hedgehog in Estonia, is a large-scale reservist exercise which also involves volunteer Defense League (Kaitseliit) personnel, regular Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) members.
Former EDF conscripts remain on reserve lists and are liable for training at certain times in the following years.
Exercise SIIL is complemented by the reservists snap Okas ("quill", as in the quill or spine from a hedgehog) exercise, while Spring Storm (Kevadtorm) is the major regular forces' exercise.
The FGM-148 Javelin is a U.S.-made fire-and-forget, anti-tank weapon system which uses infrared automated guidance, allowing a user to take cover, as compared with wire-guided systems which require the human operator to guide the weapon to its target. It has risen to recent prominence thanks to its successful use by Ukrainian forces repelling the Russian invasion which began on February 24. Many NATO countries, including Estonia, have provided Javelin to the Ukrainians.
The system is not to be confused with the now obsolete British-made Surface-to-Air missile system of the same name, now only in use by a handful of countries world-wide.
The AK video segment (in Estonian) featuring Javelin in use in training is below.
Editor: Andrew Whyte