TALLINN, Sep 29, BNS – A training event of the South national defense district of Estonia’s Kaitseliit (Defense League) volunteer corps that began on Monday will on Saturday transform into a large scale exercise titled Sibul (Onion) that will be joined by personnel from the NATO battle group stationed in Estonia.
On the first day of the exercise the staff and company and platoon commanders assembled at the defense forces’ central training ground. The next to arrive were squad commanders and specialists, whereas on Thursday the rest of the personnel arrived at the central training ground, spokespeople for Kaitseliit said.
The assembly part ends on Friday, and on Saturday the training exercise will start in the course of which Kaitseliit volunteers from South Estonia will hone their skills in conventional warfare with the NATO battle group stationed in Estonia.
According to the scenario of the exercise, Kaitseliit’s battle and logistics companies will conduct defensive activities and will be attacked by light infantry companies supported by the NATO battle group.
Lt. Col. Kalle Kohler, head of the Tartu region of Kaitseliit and commanding officer of the exercise, said that the exercise summarizes the three-year training cycle of the Kaitseliit regions of South Estonia and will prepare staffs and units for the Siil (Hedgehog) large-scale exercise of the defense forces to take place next spring.
In addition it offers an excellent opportunity to rehearse cooperation with the NATO combat units stationed in Estonia.