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May 15 2018

In Support of Estonia

As many as 15,000 troops from NATO and its partner countries participated in exercise "Hedgehog (Siil) 2018" held throughout Estonia on 2-13 May. In demonstration of its continuous readiness to defend the Allies in the Baltic region, Headquarters Multinational Corps Northeast (HQ MNC NE) took on the role of Higher Control (HICON) in this biggest drill in the recent history of Estonia with nationwide impact.

Our participation in 'Hedgehog 2018' is a demonstration of Multinational Corps Northeast's and NATO's unity, support, and dedication to the Baltic region.

– emphasized General Novalis.

The exercise tested the preparedness of the Estonian reservists, civil authorities and defence forces in a full alert and mobilization scenario. Specifically for "Hedgehog 2018", HQ MNC NE provided a HICON element set up in Tartu. Operating out of tents and trailers as every rapidly deployable corps would, our personnel proved their command and control capabilities and fulfilled the demanding objectives of the exercise.


"We brought a group of experts in communications, operations and logistics, who actively prepare an Operations Order for the Estonian leadership." – explained Brigadier General John E. Novalis, Deputy Chief of Staff Operations, responsible for MNC NE's part on the spot – "This will help us in the future if we prepare for NATO deployments."

"Hedgehog 2018" was of particular importance for HQ MNC NE as Estonia is one of the six countries in our Area of Operations. Today, HQ MNC NE's command and control responsibility for NATO land forces ranges from Tallinn to Budapest, encompassing also Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia. Given its geostrategic location, expertise and high-readiness capabilities, HQ MNC NE continues to prevent insecurity, deter aggression and prove its commitment to defend Allied territory.

The exercise included defensive operations across the land, sea and air domains. It was the first drill of its kind in Estonia, where full mobilization involved not only all Estonian Defence League personnel but also the police and border guard authorities.

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office

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