A mechanized infantry company from the Scouts Battalion and a mortar platoon from the Defence League, totalling 134 combatants, are scheduled to head to NATO Response Force exercise Steadfast Jazz in Poland Monday morning. This is the first time a volunteer unit from Estonian Defence League is participating in a NATO Response Force exercise.
„The purpose of Steadfast Jazz is to make sure that NATO is ready to defend its member states,“ Commander of the Estonian Defence Force’s contingent, Captain Mart Sirel said. „Our preparation has been thorough, the Scouts Battalion and the Defence League have had extensive joint training, they are ready to fulfill combat assignments and can effectively work together with the mechanized infantry units of other Nations,“ Sirel added.
During the exercise BAM in September, the Scouts Battalion infantry company and the Defence League’s Tallinn mortar platoon worked closely together during the exercise at the Nursipalu training ground. In October at Sirgala the mortar platoon trained in a live fire exercise. In conjunction with the new National Defence Plan, members belonging to Defence League army structure, using Israeli 81mm weapons will be equipped with the new US-made mortars.
The infantry company of the Scouts Battalion is participating in the exercise with two standardly equipped infantry platoons, using Galil 5.56 mm caliber automatic rifles, MG-3 light machine guns, Carl Gustav antitank grenade launchers and Browning 12.7 mm caliber machine guns which are affixed to 10 Sisu XA-188 armoured vehicles.
Exercise Steadfast Jazz 2013 will take place in early November in a number of Alliance nations including the Baltic States and Poland.
The purpose of the exercise is to train and test the NATO Response Force, a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and special forces components that the Alliance can deploy quickly wherever needed. The NATO Response Force is a key-component of NATO’s collective defence capabilities.
Along with the mechanized infantry company and the Defence League mortar platoon, Estonian Navy minehunter Admiral Cowan, assigned to Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1, will be participating the exercise.
The NATO Response Force is the Alliance’s quick reaction force of up to 13,000 troops, who can be deployed anywhere, in different configurations, to perform a wide range of missions from humanitarian aid to combat operations, all on short notice.
Estonian troops heading to Steadfast Jazz