Siil / Steadfast Javelin kicks off in Estonia

  • 04 May. 2015 - 15 May. 2015
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  • Last updated: 10 May. 2015 10:45

The largest mobilisation exercise Siil/Steadfast Javelin is currently underway in Estonia after the country restored its armed forces two decades ago.

Exercise Siil / Steadfast Javelin is currently underway in Estonia. The exercise involves over 7,000 reserve forces and in total 13,000 troops - Photo courtesy of Estonian Defence Forces

Siil/Steadfast Javelin involving over 7,000 of reserve forces and in total 13,000 troops from Estonia and Allied countries kicked off in locations all over Estonia this week and runs from May 4 to 15.

"I was pleased to see the enthusiasm among the reservists, service members, Home Guard and Allied forces when inspecting the troops," Commander of Estonian Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Riho Terras said.

According to Terras the forces are now battle-ready and have completed the mobilization phase. "This demonstrates the will Estonia´s reserve soldiers have to defend their own country, but also serves as an example how the society supports the reserve-based system," Terras added.

The objective of the exercise is to test the full staging of the permanent readiness troops and additional staging of rapid response reserve units. The exercise also trains receiving of mobilized personnel. In addition, the 1st Infantry Brigade will exercise its operational capabilities as well as tactical and operational command.

The equipment used during the exercise features APCs, artillery units, air defence systems, combat engineering and transport and support vehicles. The U.S. M1A2 Abrams tanks, Polish attack aircraft SU-22, four United Kingdom Eurofighter Typhoons, currently participating in the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission as well as additional Hawks and U.S. attack aircraft A-10.

Siil/Steadfast Javelin is the biggest exercise in the Baltic Sea region this year and focuses on training the Estonian infantry brigade in ground operations, but will also involve air operations.

Over 600 Allied troops from Belgium, Germany, Latvia, Poland, the Netherlands, UK and U.S. are taking part. OSCE is to send observers to the exercise.