(Adds)TALLINN, Dec 07, BNS - Five hundred reservists had gathered in the Johvi campus of the Estonian defense forces for the Okas (Quill) defense readiness exercise by Thursday morning.Forty-five reservists have informed the Viru Infantry Battalion of being late, military spokespeople in Tallinn said."The reservists who have fulfilled their duty and turned up have very clearly demonstrated that they wish to fulfill their duty to the nation and their next of kin. Also those who have informed us that they cannot attend for some reason have demonstrated responsibility," commander of the defense forces Gen. Riho Terras said.He said that the chain of command starting from the proposal to announce the additional defense readiness exercise to the decision of the government, and back from there to the military command structure functioned well and quickly.Terras said that while a more precise assessment can be made after the end of the exercise, judging by the activity of the reservists the actions in the notification of reservists can be deemed to have been satisfactory.The reservists who arrived at the Johvi campus were handed uniforms, equipment and a service weapon. Next the reservists were due to be instructed on safety measures and given repeat training in firearm safety, after which training in unit tactics was to begin.Also the Scouts Battalion of the 1st Infantry Brigade and the NATO battle group stationed in Estonia are taking part in Okas 2017.The government held an emergency e-meeting on Wednesday to announce an extraordinary additional reservist training event for 669 reservists.Military spokespeople said that the emergency reservist training event, titled Okas, will involve reservists of the 13th battalion of the 1st Infantry Brigade, who have been summoned to appear at the Johvi compound of the defense forces no later than 9 a.m. on Dec. 7.In accordance with the National Defense Act, the government may announce an additional reservist training to rehearse and check the accelerated achieving of combat readiness of reserve units without 120 days' advance notice.In the first similar snap defense readiness exercise held in December 2016, more than 300 reservists and Kaitseliit volunteers were called up in North and South Estonia.Tallinn newsroom, +372 610 8814, firstname.lastname@example.orgBaltic News Service
Published: 07.12.2017 13:50
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