More than 15,000 troops to participate in largest Siil exercise yet
More than 15,000 troops, including around 2,000 allied troops from 15 countries, are expected to participate in the Estonian military exercise Siil 2018 this May.
Beginning on May 2 and lasting through May 14, this year's edition of the exercise will be the largest military exercise Estonia has seen since it restored its independence in 1991.
Around 2,000 allied troops are to take part in this year's exercise, spokespeople for the Estonian Defence League told BNS.
Among those to participate are units from the U.K., U.S., Denmark, Germany, Poland, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Georgia, Ukraine and Ireland.
The exercise is to take place in two stages. In the first stage, which will last through May 6, units of the Estonian Defence League and Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) are to set up and achieve battle readiness. In the second stage, which will last from May 7-13, units will practice operating together.
"The functioning of broad-based national defense has never before been implemented on such a large scale in Estonia, and it is very important that we can make our enemy change its plans with our firm deterrence," Commander of the Estonian Defence League Maj. Gen. Meelis Kiili was quoted by spokespeople as saying.
According to Kiili, the exercise is a fitting event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, and it relays the message that Estonia takes its security very seriously.
Editor: Aili Vahtla