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Mikser: Thanks to Siil, idea of transitioning to professional army is off the agenda for good
Siil 2015 final line-up in Tapa
Minister of Defence Sven Mikser, who paid a visit to the year’s largest Defence Forces exercise, Siil, said the Estonian national defence system is functioning impressively and that the successful exercise has put an end to talk of switching over to a fully professional Defence Forces.
“I observed the planning stage and the exercise itself very closely. Estonia’s national defence model is functioning very well,” said Mikser after the visit to Siil. “On the basis of the first overall assessments I can already confirm that Siil was a success. The Estonian mobilization system works and our people have a high commitment to defending their country. Chief of Defence Lt. Gen. Riho Terras and the Defence Forces general staff deserve top marks for their successfully passing such an important exam.“
Mikser said it was now the time to draw conclusions and analyse the lessons for continuing to develop the reserves and the mobilization system.
Mikser said he was grateful to reservists, Defence Leaguers and their employers in the civilian world for what he called a noteworthy contribution to Estonian military defence.
Siil 2015, which winds up this Friday and covered all of Estonia, was the largest Defence Forces exercise in history. Siil is being carried out in place of the annual Kevadtorm exercise and involves over 13,000 reservists, Defence League members, conscripts, active duty members and troops from other NATO allies.
This summer, the allies will be carrying out large-scale training exercises on the Baltic Sea. The United States will be leading the annual international Baltic region training exercise BALTOPS, while the United Kingdom will be leading the deployment exercise Baltic Protector.