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Estonia’s Government Approves Defense Readiness Exercise “Okas 23-3”

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Stenbock House, November 8, 2023 – The Government of the Republic of Estonia has given the green light for a defense readiness exercise codenamed “Okas 23-3” (Quill). Approximately 220 members of the 911th Air Base Defense Unit have been called upon to participate in this snap exercise (SNAPEX).

Exercise Okas is designed as a defensive drill to hone national defense procedures. Importantly, there are no immediate security threats to Estonia.

Acting upon the recommendation of the Commander of the Estonian Defense Forces, the Estonian government has summoned up to 220 reservists from the 911th Air Base Defense Unit to take part in SNAPEX Okas 23-3 from November 8 to 11, 2023. Additionally, up to 45 active-duty members of the Estonian Defense Forces will be involved in supporting roles during the exercise.

Reservists whose units are called to participate are required to report to their designated assembly points at the specified times outlined in their orders.

For information regarding the exercise and their specific orders, called-up reservists can access details on the official website www.kaitsevaeteenistus.ee. They can also seek additional information by contacting the provided phone number at +372 8002525 or by emailing info@kra.ee.

The primary objective of Exercise Okas is to evaluate the efficiency of the national defense chain of command, spanning from the government’s decision-making to achieving combat readiness in designated units within the rapid response structure.

It is the duty of the Estonian Defense Forces and Estonian Defense League to ensure that the nation is constantly prepared to defend itself, a responsibility that necessitates regular practice through exercises.

Estonia’s national defense model, rooted in its reserve military structures, has proven to be robust and effective. Security is not a given, and, as such, Estonia must conduct routine exercises during peacetime to maintain and enhance the readiness of its reserve structure. The previous SNAPEX Okas exercise took place in May 2023.

The Estonian Defense Forces consistently call up reservists for various exercises, both large and small, such as Siil (Hedgehog) and Kevadtorm (Spring Storm), providing a substantial 120-day advance notice.

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