We, 4.10.2023
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Defense Forces to stage short-notice exercises

Madis Vaikmaa
, reporter
Photo: Jaanus Lensment

The Defense Forces will hold extremely short-notice additional training courses for reservists for the purposes of additional training, increased military preparedness, and battle worthiness checks.

If until now reservists have been notified of trainings at least 120 days in advance, for example so they could secure holiday days for the Spring Storm exercise, a recent amendment to the National Defense Act allows the army to stage trainings at just 24 hours' notice.

The need to check the battle worthiness of Estonia's best daughters and sons at extremely short notice can be explained through the worsening international security situation. “Additional trainings do not come as the result of specific events; however, it is clear Estonia is influenced by the international security environment,” said deputy head of defense readiness at the Ministry of Defense, Lt. Col. Kaido Sirman.

Because additional training courses have not been held before, the ministry will initially test whether all the cogs start turning in the correct direction and at the right speed once the government announces the exercise, Sirman said. In other words, the army will also test activation of staff elements and the call-up process in addition to the level of preparedness of a few hundred reservists.

“The most important things is to practice and evaluate preparedness by field. Rather than the scale of additional reserve training, the opportunity to check preparations for battle worthiness is important,” the lieutenant colonel said.

Because of short advance notice, reservists are notified, among other channels, using email and phone calls and based on unit identification numbers also in print, television, and radio media. If a person does not know their unit number, they can verify it using the eesti.ee portal under “My data in the register of persons liable to national defense obligation”.

Should reservists be far from home for the time of the additional reserve training, Sirman recommends they notify the Defense Forces unit that issued the call.

The time of the first additional reserve training depends on the government that, however, first has to take office.