Tuesday, 31 January, 2023
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Estonia begins snap military readiness exercise

Estonia has begun a snap readiness exercise to practice the functioning of the reserve army which will take place from 22 to 28 September.

It comes a day after Russia announced that it was mobilising at least 300,000 reservists following a number of setbacks in its invasion of Ukraine.

The Estonian Ministry of Defence (MoD) stated that there is no direct security threat to Estonia at this time.

Around 3,000 reservists will take part in Exercise OKAS/QUILL 2022 which will test the functioning of the reserve army and is conducted yearly with no notice given to the participants.

The MoD stated that the Estonian reserve-based defence model requires reservists to be ready to react and participate in exercises at all times. 

OKAS/QUILL 2022 will also test the national chain of command, from the Estonian Government decision-making down to the combat readiness of specific units in the rapid response structure.

Last year’s OKAS/QUILL exercise, which ran from 17 to 25 November, saw Estonian reservists train with the Estonian Police and Border Guard Force. They also constructed a 40-kilometre (25-mile) temporary barbed wire fence on the Estonian-Russian border.

The Estonian Defence Forces have 7,200 active personnel and 30,000 reservists, with around 4,000 held in high readiness. In total, the Estonian Defence Forces can call upon about 230,000 citizens who are enrolled in the mobilisation register.

Yesterday Lithuania raised the level of alertness of its Rapid Reaction Force in response to the mobilisation in Russia.

Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie is the founder and editor of DefenceToday.com. Neil is also the editor of other online publications covering Scottish and military history, defence and security. He can be found on Twitter: @NeilRitchie86.

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