Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF), Gen. Riho Terras, attended a training exercise of a Swedish tank company on the island of Gotland on Friday, after he met with the defense chief and the defense minister of Sweden the day before.
In his meetings with Sweden's defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, and the commander of the Swedish military, Gen. Michael Byden, Terras was given an overview of the security situation of Sweden and the ongoing reforms, spokespeople for the EDF said.
Terras said that Sweden was taking a very serious approach to the reform of its national defense, which was well demonstrated by the decision made on Thursday to restore conscript military service, and also by the restoration of the Gotland battle group.
"Because of its strategic location, Gotland plays an important role in the security of the entire Baltic Sea," Terras said.
The meetings also explored cooperation opportunities between different branches of the armed forces and in the field of cyber defense. Swedish military personnel will take part in this year's Spring Storm exercise for the first time. In exchange, Kaitseliit (Defence League) volunteers will participate in the Aurora military exercise in Sweden.
Bringing together more than 19,000 Swedish, NATO, and partner nations military personnel, Aurora will be the biggest military exercise Sweden has seen in more than 20 years.
On Friday morning Terras met with Gotland's regional governor, Cecilia Schelin Sedegard, who gave him an overview of the cooperation between the local authorities and the defense forces. The chief of the Gotland defense district, Col. Mattias Ardin, introduced Terras to their plans for the near future and the infrastructure development projects necessary for the deployment of a permanent battle group on the island.
As part of Terras’ visit to Sweden, the leader of the EDF's non-commissioned officers' corps, Command Sergeant Major Siim Saliste, met with members of the Swedish army’s non-commissioned officers' corps to discuss matters related to the restoration of conscript service and share Estonia's experience.
Editor: Dario Cavegn