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NATO joins Estonia for home defence training

Estonian Defence Forces exercise for defensive operations. - Photo courtesy of Estonian Ministry of Defence
PALDISKI, Estonia – Some 15,000 personnel from NATO Allies and partners are participating in Exercise SILL underway until May 13, 2018 in Estonia. 

The exercise tests the preparedness of the Estonian Reservists, civil authorities and Defence Forces in a full alert and mobilisation scenario. The Estonian Reservist training cycle provides conscript training to support and reinforce Estonian defence capabilities. 
"The role of the Kalevi Battalion and my staff is to train conscripts in a wide range of specialist military skills, before they fully undertake their reservist duties," said Estonian Army Lieutenant Colonel Mait Muurisepp, Kalevi Infantry Battalion commander. "For Exercise SIIL, two of my companies will be part of the multinational defensive force in the exercise scenario, and I am please to say will allow us to fully demonstrate how effective our training is."
Estonian conscript training ranges from eight to 11 months. Conscripts attend specialist courses and conduct unit level training and battle camps culminating in large-scale exercises such as Exercise SPRING STORM and Exercise SIIL. 

"Our conscript training is very tough. Through intensive military training, we are able to successfully meet the requirements of battalion combat readiness," said Estonian Army First Lieutenant Ingemar Randviir, B Company commander. "During all aspects of our infantry training, we also work with other NATO countries including our eFP forces, which further enhances our interoperability and professionalism."

Exercise SIIL includes defensive operations across the land, sea and air domains. Following Exercise SIIL 18, the Kalevi Battalion will conduct their annual live-fire exercise in the Tapa Central Training Area.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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