Volunteer bank to boost defense

  • 2013-04-24
  • From wire reports

Minister of Defense Urmas Reinsalu.

TALLINN - The Minister of Defense Advisory Committee has discussed how to engage more volunteers in a comprehensive national defense for Estonia, reports LETA. “The will for the defense of the Estonian people is high. Although a large part of the population participates in the military national defense as reservists, members of the National Defense League and the Defense Forces or teachers of national defense, we need to offer people new possibilities for contributing to the national defense on a voluntary basis,” said Minister of Defense Urmas Reinsalu.
“We have to offer possibilities for all Estonian people to express their free will, including those who also wish to make their contribution in a non-military way, in other words without carrying a gun. The contribution of every individual is important to Estonia,” Reinsalu said.

According to the Minister of Defense, the National Defense League plays a central role in engaging volunteers. “Through the National Defense League Estonian people should be able to give their contribution to comprehensive national defense, participating for instance in wildland firefighting, the elimination of environmental pollution or searching for people,” the minister of defense explained.
“The National Defense League could function as a bank of volunteering, where help is available when it is most needed,” Reinsalu said.

The Minister of Defense Advisory Committee found that the contribution of volunteers has to be taken into account in planning for comprehensive national defense and this has to be done through the cooperation of ministries.
“Volunteers definitely have an important position in the area of internal security, where they already contribute to police and rescue work,” Reinsalu said.
The members of the Advisory Committee promised that in the next few weeks, they would come up with additional ideas on how to engage volunteers.

The objective of the Minister of Defense Advisory Committee is to analyze different aspects in Estonia’s defense and security policies, to advise the minister of defense and through this engage different people and concepts into the development of national defense.

The members of the Advisory Committee are Leo Kunnas, Iivi Anna Masso, Leo Motus, Erik Reinhold, Aivar Riisalu, Hannes Toomsalu, Toomas Luman, Toomas Peek, Jaak Valge, Eerik-Niiles Kross, Toomas Hiio, Raivo Tamm, Tonu Tannberg, Vello Vainsalu, Martin Hurt, Kaido Pihlakas and Andres Anvelt.