Tallinn 9 May 2019: Major General Bill O’Leary from the UK (UK Deputy Commander Field Army and senior UK Army Reservist) yesterday visited Estonian Defence League (EDL) troops taking part in the annual live exercise “Spring Storm”. EDL is a voluntary defence organization in defence of the Republic of Estonia, and augments the country’s armed forces. (Click here for more about EDL.)
The Spring Storm exercise has some 7,500 troops from 10 NATO countries taking part.
Major General O’Leary also met with many of the national delegates at the spring meeting of the NATO-affiliated Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR).
The spring and fall meetings serve the purpose of keeping the various workstrands of the organization going in-between the main annual meetings – hence the internal “go-by name”: In-Between-Meeting (IBM).
The main annual meetings of CIOR are the Summer Congress (SC) and the Mid-Winter Meeting (MWM). The SC rotates between the member countries, whilst the MWM always takes place at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
The Estonian capital city of Tallinn will also host this year’s Summer Congress of CIOR.
CIOR Delegates visit Estonian Battlefield Exercise
Tallinn 9 May 2019: CIOR delegates yesterday visited Exercise “Spring Storm” in Estonia. A part of the exercise was a battlefield first aid scenario after an artillery unit was hit by counter battery fire.
The delegates witnessed an artillery battery deployed in the field and undergoing realistic training scenarios during the field-training phase of the exercise.
The Spring Storm exercise has some 7,500 troops from 10 NATO countries taking part.
CIOR visit to exercise and shooting range covered by…
Estonian national TV news (about 7 minutes in). Click here.
The visit took place in conjunction with the spring meeting of the NATO-affiliated Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR). The meeting serves the purpose of keeping the various workstrands of the organization going in-between the main annual meetings – hence the internal “go-by name”: In-Between-Meeting (IBM).
Tallinn will also host this year’s Summer Congress of CIOR.
CIOR held the first In-Between-Meeting (IBM) of the UK / Estonian Presidency in Tallinn from 15 to 17 November. -I was very pleased to welcome over 60 delegates from our member Reserve Associations, and especially the President of CIOMR and the President of CISOR, said CIOR President, Colonel Chris Argent (R).
– Substantial degree of unanimity
– This was the first meeting at which our Presidency could start delivering its Manifesto, which I had laid out the Council of CIOR in Quebec in August, said Argent. – Our discussions, which demonstrated a substantial degree of unanimity amongst member nations on all subjects, covered:
CIOR Strategic Programme
Managing CIOR Business
The CIOR MOU with NRFC [National Reserve Forces Committee]
Improving CIOR’s Financial Management – for which I have appointed three Vice Presidents to constitute an advisory working group.
Committees tuned to the “Young Reserve Officer” theme
– Besides the plenary discussions of Council, the Secretary General and I met Committee Chairmen and discussed and guided their work plans, all of which are tuned to the Presidency Theme ‘’The Young Reserve Officer’’.
– This was also a unique occasion as I was particularly pleased to have some very meaningful discussions with the President of CIOMR [Interallied Confederation of Medical Reserve Officers] and the President of CISOR [Interallied Confederation of Non-Commissioned Officers], during which we discussed closer future collaboration of all three confederations during an Office Call with the Chief of Defence of the Estonian Armed Forces, General Terras, who has taken a keen interest in our affairs.
– A fitting climax to a most successful meeting
– We were most privileged to be addressed by the Estonian Chief of Defence (Designate) and the Head of the Estonian General Staff, and to be invited to the Centenary Celebrations of the Estonian Armed Forces at which the President of Estonia was present. This proved a fitting climax to a most successful meeting, and I am most grateful to the Estonian members of the Presidency Team for their exceptional organisation and management of the meeting.
– Looking forward to Mid-Winter-Meeting
– I am very pleased with the Outcomes of the IBM in putting into effect our ambitious Manifesto, the co-operation and commitment which all delegates made to the meeting, and I look forward to welcoming the maximum number of CIOR delegates to the Mid-Winter-Meeting (MWM) to be held in Brussels at NATO Headquarters from 29 January to 1 March 2019, the CIOR President said.
Estonians bravely pledge to defend themselves “in all circumstanses and against all adversaries, no matter how overwhelming”. And most of the country’s armed forces are actually made up of reservists. The small Baltic country of 1,3 million people has an army of merely 3,500 men and women in continous service. So the large corps of dedicated and well trained reservists are indispensable to Estonia’s national defence.
Colonel Veiko-Vello Palm, Head of the Estonian General Staff designate delivered an impressive and very honest and straightforward presentation of the country’s armed forces to the CIOR In-Between-Meeting audience.
14,000 regular reservists represent 60 per cent of Estonia’s wartime stregth
Estonia’s regular reserve forces count 14,000. The national Defence League provides an additional strength of 6,000 reservists. The Defence League is a paramilitary defence organization whose aim is to guarantee the preservation of the independence and sovereignty of the state, the integrity of its land area and its constitutional order. The Defence League possesses arms and engages in military exercises. The organization is divided into 15 Defence League regional units, called malevs, whose areas of responsibility mostly coincide with the borders of Estonian counties.
Spends over two per cent of annual GDP on Defence
Estonia is one of few NATO nations that has reached the Alliance’s expressed goal of spending at least two per cent of its annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on defence. Steadily climbing over the last several years, the defence budget now amounts to 520 million Euros, which is 2,17 per cent of GDP.
The CIOR In-Between-Meeting (IBM) 1 in Tallinn, Estionia, kicked off this morning. The Chief of the Estonian Defence Forces designate, Major General Herem, opened the morning session, and received the CIOR Plaque by CIOR President, UK Colonel Chris Argent (R).
The following meeting between the National delegations discussed a new draft Memorandum of Understanding between CIOR and the National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC). CIOR and NRFC has a close working relationship in addressing reserve affairs issues and potential within the NATO and associated member nations; in addition, both organizations provide advice to the NATO Military Committee at NATO Headquarteres in Brussels, Belgium, on the use of reserves in Alliance operations.
The agenda also included deciding on the dates and locations for future events and candidacies for future presidencies, among other management issues. The day was closed with a presentation on Estonian Armed Forces by Colonel Palm, Head of the Estonian General Staff designate.
CIOR IN BETWEEN MEETING (IBM) TALLINN, ESTONIA (14-17 NOV 18)
The international Confédération Interalliée des Officiers de Réserve (CIOR) will hold In Between Meeting One (IBM1) in Tallinn, Estonia, during the period 14 – 17 November 2018. There will be Working Sessions held 15, 16 and 17 Nov and an opportunity to attend celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Estonian Defence Forces (EDF). A formal Calling Notice and supporting documentation (regarding registration, costs and to request accommodation) will be issued shortly. A firm Agenda will be issued by 31 Oct 18.
Intent. To hold IBM1 in Tallinn, Estonia. The IBM Agenda will be issued in due course. Please note that one item of the Agenda, the MOU with NRFC, will require this to be a Special Meeting in accordance with CIOR Constitution Section 7.8.1. The President will write to VPs/ National associations to seek their views on the need to call a Special Meeting to discuss and agree the new MOU with NRFC, which it is intended will be signed on the first day of the MWM. A copy of the draft MOU will be circulated prior to IBM1 with sufficient time to allow comment and Non-attendees to IBM1 will be asked to respond electronically or by joining the meeting by phone.
The meetings will seek to realize outcomes in accord with Presidential Aims, Strategic Objectives and CIOR Business and Planning; to include:
Opening Address by Major General Herem – Chief of Estonian Defence Forces Designate (tbc)
Presentation on Estonian Defence Forces by Col Palm – Head of General Staff Designate (tbc)
IBM1 programme outlines
CIOR Strategic Planning
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NRFC
Future management of CIOR business
Finance and the Financial Report
CIOR Communications Strategy
Planning for the MWM, IBM 2 and Summer Congress in 2019