Defense forces to treble number of reservists in military exercises in 2023

Okas 2019.
Okas 2019. Source: Marko Mei/

The Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) plans to treble the number of reservists participating in readiness exercises next year. The skills of 10,000 reservists need to be updated.

The EDF has sent a request to the Minister of Defense to increase the number of participants in training sessions, said Taavi Karotamm, head of the Defense Forces' press department on Thursday. 

"And this number is higher than usual because the Defense Forces plan to improve the skills of an even wider range of reservists in the coming year. And during these exercises, various supplementary and joint training will be organized," he explained.

This year, 8,295 reservists were invited to training sessions compared to 5,111 the year before and 4,579 in 2020.

Next year, the number will rise to 25,700.

"It is important to note that this does not refer to a specific number of people, but to the number who participate in training exercises," said Karotamm. "This means that if a person were to participate in, for example, two training sessions next year, they will be registered twice in this number."

The reservists will take part in various exercises next year, Karotamm said. They will be distributed among different units.

The EDF will also make structural changes and base its activities on 20,000 reservists rather than 10,000. Reservists have already served as conscripts and can be called up for exercises such as Siil.

In the coming year, units will be trained for territorial defense and will be ready by February 2024.

EDF commander Lieutenant General Martin Herem has previously said the EDF's wartime composition would rise from 26,000 to 36,000.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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