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President Kaljulaid to reservists: our deterrence capability is real, not illusive


President Kersti Kaljulaid today visited the training field of the Defence Forces in Männiku, where she met with reservists who were summoned to an additional reservist training, Okas (Quilll). The Head of State also paid a visit to the Defence League training, Põhjatäht (North Star), in Ülemiste.

"Our defence ability relies on reservists who need to be able to function as a unit. It is remarkable that we are capable of manning 88% of the reserve units within 24 hours' notice. This is a very good result and we have to give recognition to the reservists along with their families and everyone in Estonia for such an achievement. I would also like to extend my gratitude to employers and universities for their understanding of some students and employees who may be a bit tired after a weekend spent at training," said President Kaljulaid. The Okas additional reservist training was the first time Estonia tested its real defence ability in such a way.

According to the Head of State, we cannot choose the era or world in which we live, but we can choose our attitude. "The most important key to the security of Estonia lies in our people: free, self-confident Estonian people who stick together and co-operate with their kindred spirits. When you know the person standing next to you, it's not important who the enemy is. And this additional reservist training – along with the other Defence Forces and the Defence League trainings taking place at the same time – stands to confirm that our deterrence capability is real, not illusive. We have real units, not a paper army," she added.

This week, with 24 hours' notice, the Defence Forces summoned the Okas additional reservist training for the 433rd Infantry Company of the 43rd Land Forces Battalion, which is formed by the Võru District of the Estonian Defence League and the 10th Headquarters Support and Signal Battalion that was assigned to the reserves after the Kevadtorm (Spring Storm) training of 2014. The additional reservist training took part during the period of 2-5 December, and 303 reservists were summoned to the training.

The North District of the Defence League will organise the training Põhjatäht (North Star) during the period of 3-4 December. The training will focus on a situation where the Defence League will be required to offer a rapid response to the request of AS Tallinna Lennujaam (Tallinn Airport) and the Police and Border Guard Board to ensure close range security and the protection of the airport from a possible enemy.

Office of the President
Public Relations Department