Training exercises strengthen Estonia's rapid response capability, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) said while visiting the snap exercise Okas 2018 on Friday.
"Supplementary reservist training events are important for testing our ability to be able to rapidly react to whatever event," Ratas was quoted by government spokespeople as saying.
According to the prime minister, a training exercise like this taking place for the fourth time is a sign of training events becoming increasingly common both for members of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) as well as reservists, but also for reservists' families and employers.
Subject to the call-up for the snap exercise this time were reservists of the reserve unit of the 51st Logistics Battalion of the Support Command.
Ratas described readiness on the part of logisticians of the EDF in particular to organise the movement of equipment and people as being a prerequisite for rapid response.
"I would like to acknowledge all the reservists who have turned up — who had to leave behind their daily activities for a few days on very short notice," said the prime minister. "This demonstrates very clearly that Estonia is able to strengthen its defence capability significantly if necessary. I also offer my gratitude to those whose understanding at work, study and at home has supported the men and women taking part in this reservist training event."
Lt. Col. Argo Reidla, commander of the Logistics Battalion, provided Ratas with an overview of the course of the snap exercise, informing him about both reservists and military-civilian cooperation. According to Reidla, the arrival of reservists at rally points was facilitated by their communication in terms of both informing each other as well as arranging shared transport.
The government on Wednesday announced the snap exercise Okas 2018, for which 1,248 reservists were called up. The goal of the snap exercise is to review the functioning of the chain of command in national defence, from government decision to the gathering and check of the defence readiness of reservists of Estonia's rapid response structure.
Editor: Aili Vahtla