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Estonia staging snap exercise for close to 700 reservists

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NATO soldiers participating in a winter exercise, 2017.
NATO soldiers participating in a winter exercise, 2017. Source: (Karl Johanson, Marina Loštšina/

The Estonian government decided at an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday to hold an emergency military exercise involving 669 reservists beginning Thursday.

The government held an emergency e-meeting on Wednesday to announce an extraordinary additional reservist training event for 669 reservists. Orders to the members of the reserve would be sent out by the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF), spokespeople for the government said.

Military spokespeople said that the emergency reservist training event, titled Okas ("Quill"), will involve reservists of the 13th battalion of the 1st Infantry Brigade, who will be summoned to appear at the Jõhvi base of the EDF no later than 9 a.m. on Dec. 7.

Orders would be sent to the reservists via text message, e-mail, and the media. Information concerning the additional reservist training event will be published also on the website of the EDF.

Members of the reserve can check whether they are among the personnel invited to the training event by logging in to the national defense obligation register in the national defense section of the website

Ratas: Snap exercises necessary to practice rapid response

"I would like to thank those members of the reserve in advance who respond to this invitation, their employers, family and close ones for your understanding. That they take part in the reservist training is extremely important," Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said.

"The additional reservist training enables Estonia to check if we are ready to quickly strengthen our national defense when necessary. Security does not happen by itself, therefore we need to stage exercises on a regular basis in time of peace to maintain the rapid response capability in all links of the chain from the Government of the Republic to the units to be formed," Ratas said.

Defence Minister Jüri Luik (IRL) said that even though the government pays a compensation to the reservists taking part in the training event, employers who compensate the reservist for the balance or maintain their wage during the training event are making a significant contribution and serve as an example to others.

"I would like to express my appreciation of all employers whose understanding of their employees' participation in reservist training is extremely important. Even though the absence of a good specialist from work for a few days may prove quite a challenge for some employers, by this you are making a valuable input to the development of free Estonia," Luik said.

In accordance with the National Defence Act, the government may announce an additional reservist training to rehearse and check the accelerated achieving of combat readiness of reserve units without 120 days' advance notice.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS

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