More than 1,200 uniformed personnel will take part in this year's Victory Day parade in Tartu on Sunday, the Defence League announced. For the first time, the latter won't line up its units by district, but by service branch, demonstrating recent quantum leaps in the preparedness of Estonia's volunteer force.
The parade will be commanded by the outgoing commander of the Defence League (Kaitseliit), Maj. Gen. Meelis Kiili. The volunteer units participating are all part of the southern regional command and include personnel of Kaitseliit's Tartu, Põlva, Sakala, Valga, and Võru districts.
In detail, Kaitseliit will present a full battle group including subunits as well as a line-up of territorial defense troops, including a light infantry company, staging center, and a law enforcement platoon.
Other groups in the parade's line-up include the Women's Defence League (Naiskodukaitse) as well as the volunteer youth organizations, Noored Kotkat ("Young Eagles") and Kodutütred ("Home Daughters"). Volunteers of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) as well as the Rescue Board will also march in the parade.
Foreign units expected at the parade include flag teams from Finland, Poland, Sweden, and Ukraine, as well as platoons of the United States, Latvian, Lithuanian, British and French armed forces.
Flyovers will be carried out by two Robinson R-44 helicopters of the Estonian Air Force, two Apache attack helicopters of the British Army Air Corps, an AW139 helicopter, and a Beechcraft surveillance aircraft of the fleet of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), two aircraft of the Hungarian Air Force and two Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets of Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF).
The Victory Day parade starts at 11 a.m. on Sunday, 23 June, also Midsummer Eve.
Editor: Dario Cavegn