The Ministry of Defence and representatives from nine rural municipalities, on whose territory training areas are located, signed an agreement of good intentions, with the goal being to continue with constructive cooperation contributing to national defence.
According to Minister of Defence Jüri Luik, the agreement confirms that activities associated with the development of national defence training areas will be implemented in the spirit of improving cooperation and notification.
‘In a small country like Estonia, national defence based on the reserve army model is a matter that concerns society as a whole. We greatly appreciate cooperation with local governments,' stated Luik.
He added that training areas are of critical importance for ensuring Estonia’s defence capability. ‘There is no point to weapons if our servicemen are unable to train with them. When something eventually happens, it will not be enough that we have armament,' noted Luik, adding that competence in wielding those weapons is important.
Colonel Vahur Karus, Commander of the 1st Infantry Brigade, stated that carrying out exercises in training areas develops a soldier's ability to take into account circumstances which could not be taken into consideration in simulations.
‘There are factors within the training area, such as humidity, temperature and air pressure, which impact the behaviour of ammunition. The ability to take these into consideration under live conditions improves the efficiency of a soldier,' said Karus.
Kuusalu Rural Municipality Mayor Urmas Kirtsi said that the good intentions agreement can be followed by good deeds. ‘We must remember our common priority, which is a free Republic of Estonia,' added Kirtsi.
The good intentions agreement was concluded by representatives from Anija, Kuusalu, Lääne-Harju, Narva-Jõesuu, Rõuge, Saarde, Saku, Tapa and Võru rural municipalities, and the Ministry of Defence.
Located within the above mentioned local governments are the Defence Forces’ central training area, Soodla, Männiku, Sirgala, Klooga, Kikepera and Nursipalu training grounds and the Tapa close-quarters training area.
The signing was followed by an excursion to the central training area, where it was possible to examine and ride in equipment belonging to the Defence Forces.
Additional information: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee