Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) on Saturday recognized the reservists who are participating in the snap exercise initiated by the government earlier this week, called Okas (Quill).
Ratas thanked all participants, but also their employers and family members whose attitude enables the reservists to take part in the training exercise. "The most important thing is the readiness of the reservists themselves to show up and to contribute to Estonia's national defense. It is an example of patriotism," he said.
According to Ratas, attending training exercises with short notice is extremely important to practice and check achieving the combat readiness of reserve units, and to test real defense capacity. "I saw the will to defend as well as sparkle in the eyes of all those men and women who showed up -- it is the strongest confirmation that national defense works. Hopefully everything goes smoothly and the people who showed up can go back home knowing that they have done their duty and made a contribution," the prime minister added.
The Estonian government decided at an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday to hold an emergency military exercise involving 669 reservists beginning Thursday. The exercise is to last until Sunday evening.
This is the second time that Estonia is testing its actual defense capability in such a way. In the first similar snap defense readiness exercise held in December 2016, more than 300 reservists and Kaitseliit volunteers were called up in North and South Estonia.
Editor: Dario Cavegn