Minister of Defence Jüri Luik visited the headquarters of large-scale training exercise Siil 2018 (Hedgehog 2018) and observed the course of the final combat exercise from aboard a helicopter.
At the Siil 2018 command post, located in Võru County, Chief of Staff of the Headquarters of the Estonian Defence Forces Brigadier General Martin Herem provided Minister of Defence Luik with an overview of the execution of the training exercise and key activities.
Following the presentation the Minister of Defence headed to Valga aboard an Air Force helicopter, where he was able to observe the final Siil 2018 combat exercise from the air. The exercise consisted of units from the 2nd Infantry Brigade halting the strike landed by their opponent, with the role of the opponent played by the Estonian Defence Forces and allied manoeuvring units within the composition of the 1st Infantry Brigade.
Minister of Defence Luik thanked the servicemen and Defence League district members for their professionally organised large-scale training exercise, which served to confirm the smooth functioning of Estonia’s national defence system.
‘Siil 2018 was an exceptionally large-scale exercise, with thousands of servicemen, Defence League district members, reservists, police and border guards taking part, in addition to many other volunteers and state public servants across Estonia,' said Minister of Defence Luik. ‘During the course of the exercise we received confirmation that Estonia is protected by a strong safety net, which is ready to successfully stand against any attack launched against our country.“
Minister of Defence Luik emphasised the importance of reservists and the Defence League in carrying out Siil 2018, as well as the ability of state authorities, local governments and other organisations to organise cooperation between one another.
‘I would like to thank all of the reservists and Defence League members who participated in Siil, as well as their families and employers, who made the success of the training exercise possible. I would also like to thank all of the state public servants who contributed to the planning and successful execution of the exercise. During the course of Siil we were reminded of the fact that Estonian society is strong and that we are able to work well together, should the need arise,' said Minister of Defence Luik.
The final combat exercise of Siil 2018, which began on 2 May, was held today. During the course of the training exercise several different scenarios were played through, during the course of which the Police and Border Guard, Rescue Board, the Defence League, the Defence Forces, local governments and other organisations, as well as the military forces of our allies and partner nations, all practiced cooperating with one another.