Large-scale reservist exercise hosts Finnish-Estonia military cooperation
Finnish soldiers have been taking part in the Estonian Defense Forces' (EDF) reservists' large-scale Exercise SIIL, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Friday.
EDF Lt. Col. Eero Aija, commander of the Estonian Scout's Battalion (Scoutspataljon) told AK that: "We are practicing today so that the Finnish unit and also engineers will be able to cooperate, without hindrance, as part of the Scouts' Battalion."
"There are no small differences. Each country has its own differences in the way they do things. However, I think we can handle tactical tasks very well together. And even the contact with this exercise shows that we can easily find common ground with the Finns," Lt. Col. Aija continued.
The Scouts' Battalion had been joined by fellow reservists from the Finnish Defense Forces' (Puolustusvoimat) Pori Jäger Battalion which, belongs to the Finnish Rapid Deployment Force (Suomen Kansainvälinen Valmiusjoukko).
Both units use Patria Pasi tracked armored combat vehicle, which is Finnish-made.
The two units were taking part in a counter-attack scenario, and the Finnish Jägers traveled over bridging set up by EDF engineers, AK reported.
This week was not the first time the Finnish and Estonian units cooperated; both have done so in the past in Lebanon, in the UNIFIL mission.
SIIL, meaning hedgehog, is an annual large-scale exercise primarily focused on reservists, though regular EDF members, members of the volunteer Defense League (Kaitseliit) and personnel from NATO allied nations also take part.
Finland is not yet a NATO member, having only submitted its application to join the alliance this week, but has long been a partner nation of NATO and engaged in military exercises, including with the EDF.
The AK video excerpt (in Estonian) is below.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte