The Defence Forces

The active service and foreign missions of the Defence Forces are taking place as usual. All active servicemen and officials are invited to get vaccinated.
Restrictions in force

In order to avoid the spread of the virus and getting infected, to protect the life and health of the people and to ensure the functioning of the society, it is necessary to follow the enacted restrictions and guidelines.

Restrictions in force
The meters of risk level

The main meters are the number on people infected with COVID-19 and the number of people hospitalised. The Government reviews the risk level once a week.

Instructions for how to behave at different risk levels

OKAS/QUILL-2021

The Estonian Government has decided to call in 1684 reservists to hold a regular defence readiness reservists’ exercise OKAS/QUILL-2021. What does it mean?

On the proposal of the Commander of Estonian Defence Forces, LTG Martin Herem, 1636 reservists from mainly engineer units are called to the readiness exercise for the period of November 17th to 25th.

Reservists of the units called for OKAS/QUILL are immediately required to appear at designated assembly points.

The main purpose of exercise OKAS/QUILL is to test the national defence chain of command, from the Estonian Government decision down to the particular units’ combat readiness in the rapid response structure.

In the course of this exercise co-operation with the Police and Border Guard Board is also practiced.  Among mobilization and formation procedures as well as additional training the reserve engineers will also construct temporary border fences in the border areas that have previously been used by organized crime to facilitate illegal migration.

OKAS/QUILL-2021 is conducted in full compliance with OSCE confidence and security building measures. The troops and equipment for this exercise OKAS/QUILL are below the notification and observation threshold of OSCE’s Vienna Document. However, Estonia has informed / is informing Allies, NATO, EU, OSCE and all countries in the Baltic Sea region of the exercise.

How is the spread of the virus contained in the Defence Forces?

The Defence Forces have taken up well-considered and effective measures to avoid COVID positive people getting into the closed headquarters area or the later spread of the droplet infection indoors, and are monitoring the health condition of conscripts and active servicemen carefully.

Significantly important exercises

Only critically important reservist trainings are organised, to avoid the possible spread of the coronavirus.

General rules of maintaining personal and collective hygiene, like hand washing, keeping a distance, using personal protective equipment, are in force during the training exercises.

Reducing contacts

Rapid testing, protective masks, and the isolation and quarantine rules enacted by different countries are used for those that move between operation areas and in headquarters.

Contacts between units have been brought to a minimum – own exercise grounds are used and public space is avoided.

Vaccination

Vaccination is voluntary but the Defence Forces certainly encourage their people to get vaccinated and considers it normal that, based on the objective of the operations of the Defence Forces – to maintain the defence capabilities of the state – the employees and servicemen are ready to protect themselves, their companions and their close ones by getting vaccinated. Those who are not vaccinated have to do a COVID-19 rapid test upon return each time they leave the military unit.

What measures are enacted to separate persons who are infected or suspected of having the virus?

  • The Defence Forces use quarantine and isolation.
  • An infected conscript is separated from others until the end of treatment.
  • Conscripts and active servicemen who have come in potential contact with a COVID positive person but are not symptomatic will stay away from active training activities, or in isolation, for two weeks.
  • During this period, the soldier will be delivered warm meals from the commissary of the unit with a thermos which is left behind his door. The empty thermoses are disinfected.
  • Both those soldiers who are separated from training and those who do not get permission to leave the unit can be contacted by phone.
  • It is also allowed to send parcels.

How does the spread of the virus affect foreign operations?

  • The Defence Forces continue to participate in international military operations based on the current principles in force. Changes are made according to the changes in situation, in order to ensure the health and safety of our units.
  • The servicemen going to military operations are vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Transporting people to the operation area and back is more complicated due to the restrictions to international travel, which is why the period that the units spend in the operation area could be extended.
  • Changes are made according to how the situation changes in the world.
  • Infected conscripts are isolated from others until the end of treatment. All those who become sick during a military operation are guaranteed all possible medical aid according to the current order.
  • The Defence Forces have the capability to extraordinarily transport home all servicemen who have become sick or need medical aid.

How to send a parcel to a conscript?

  • Parcels can be sent to military units by mail. The name of the conscript and the battalion must be written on the parcel.
  • As the delivery of parcels might take time, it would not be wise to send easily perishable goods.
  • In the Tallinn units it is also possible to bring a parcel to the entrances, which have created the conditions for contact free delivery of parcels.
ADDRESSES WHERE TO SEND THE PARCELS:
  • The Kuperjanov Infantry Battallion: Kose tee 3a, Võru, 65603, Võru County
  • Tapa Garrison: Loode 35, 45106 Tapa, Lääne-Viru County
  • Paldiski Garrison: Rae põik 1, 76806 Paldiski, Harju County
  • Jõhvi Garrison: Pargi 55, 41537 Jõhvi, Ida-Viru County
  • Headquarters Support and Signal Battallion: Filtri tee 12, 10132, Tallinn, Harju County
  • Miinisadam (Navy and Guard Battalion): Tööstuse 54a, 10416 Tallinn

Last updated: 17.11.2021