A company of the British battalion stationed in Estonia is to conduct a two-day exercise on the island of Saaremaa, after which it will spend a day meeting with local residents.
According to the volunteer Estonian Defence League, the 130-strong British company is to arrive in Saaremaa on Sunday and on Monday and Tuesday will practice patrols on foot on the Tagamõisa Peninsula. On Wednesday, the troops are to play a soccer match against FC Kuressaare, visit English-language classes in local schools as well as display their equipment in the courtyard of Kuressaare Castle.
"It is very positive that a number of subdivisions of NATO allies stationed in Estonia are planning cooperation training with the subdivisions of the Saaremaa District of the Estonian Defence League, and with the participation of naval, air force and army units," said Lt. Col. Raul Öpik, head of civil-military cooperation of the naval subunit of the Saaremaa District of the Estonian Defence League. "The people of Saaremaa will have the opportunity to see and experience up close the equipment of the allies participating in this cooperation training."
According to Öpik, the joint exercise to be held in Saaremaa will help them see and ensure that NATO allies take Estonia's collective defense need seriously and that NATO deterrence is working in close cooperation with the country's local units.
This August, strike aircraft of the Maryland Air National Guard visited Kuressaare and, in cooperation with local Estonian Defence League units, participated in a two-day air defense exercise over the Gulf of Riga.
"During the exercise, the strike aircraft were stationed at Kuressaare Airfield, secured by Estonian Defence League's Saaremaa District, and training cooperation with our region's subunits was also carried out at sea," Öpik added.
Editor: Aili Vahtla