The Estonian government on Friday announced a defense readiness exercise, Okas 23-2 (Quill 23-2), and called up 607 members of the Kaitseliit (Defense League) volunteer corps belonging to the territorial defense units to report for the snap drills.
Spokespeople for the government said the exercise is of a defensive nature, aimed at practicing national defense activities. There is no immediate security threat to Estonia.
Based on a proposal by the commander of the Estonian defense forces, up to 607 reservists from the Tartu, Polva, Vorumaa, Valgamaa and Sakala districts of the Kaitseliit's Territorial Defense Region South have been ordered by the government to participate in the snap exercise (SNAPEX) Okas from May 5 to 7, 2023. In addition, up to 300 members of the Kaitseliit will be involved in the exercise in supporting roles.
Reservists whose units are called to the exercise are obligated to immediately report to the designated assembly points. Reservists who were called to duty can check their orders from the website www.kaitsevaeteenistus.ee. All participants of the exercise can receive additional information about the exercise from their home units.
The main purpose of exercise Okas is to test the chain of command of national defense, from the decision of the government of Estonia to achieving combat readiness of designated units in the rapid response structure. In addition, units of the Kaitseliit's Territorial Defense Region South will practice performing wartime tasks such as establishing checkpoints, conducting ambushes, and sustaining themselves.
The task of the Estonian defense forces and the Kaitseliit is to ensure that the country is constantly ready to defend itself and this needs to be practiced during exercises.
The previous SNAPEX Okas took place from Jan. 26 to Feb. 23 this year.
The defense forces regularly call up reservists to large and smaller training exercises such as Siil and Kevadtorm (Spring Storm), with a long notice of 120 days.