The members and observers of the European Union special intervention units' co-operation network ATLAS participated at the simulation, the goal was to exercise the co-operation of international units and exchange tactical experiences in solving a large-scale hostage crisis.
Estonian Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur said that international co-operation increases the capability of Estonia to react to terrorist threats at any moment. „For that, we need a close co-operation with international partners and practice working together at operations, to ensure the capability to react to dangers powerfully, quickly and effectively," Pevkur added.
At the simulation, special intervention units from different member states practiced realistic activities and tactics in order to be prepared to act in co-operation with units from other countries in case of an counter-terrorism operation. The main organizer of the simulation was the Ministry of the Interior of Estonia, the simulation was lead and carried out by the Estonian Internal Security Service, the tactical part and preparations were taken care of by the Police and Border Guard Board.
The head of K-Comando, a special intervention unit of Estonian Criminal Police Hannes Perk stated that a special intervention unit is most effective when it works as a close-knit team. "The main goal of the common exercise was to practice the completion of different tasks and co-operation with special intervention units from the most important partner countries of Estonia. An important part of the simulation was to harmonize the specific features and working style of special intervention units from different countries, which we have to take into account when solving a real-life case," Perk said.
Besides Estonia, the representatives of Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland, Germany, France and United States participated in the simulation. Altogether, almost 150 people took part in the simulation carried out in different areas of Southern Estonia. Estonia has been a member of ATLAS network and taken part of joint simulations already since 2005, an internal security training of such international scope took place for the first time in Estonia.
ATLAS co-operation network was founded in 2001 to improve the fight against terrorism and crimes and improve the skills and practical co-operation. The network is supported and funded by the European Commission and it is the responsibility of the Directorate General for Home Affairs. This year's simulation was a preparation for the large-scale European Union special intervention teams' simulation, which the Ministry of the Interior also wishes to carry out in Estonia in 2016.
|An international counter-terrorism training ATHOS held in Estonia In the beginning of October, an international special intervention units anti-terrorism simulation ATHOS 2015 (Allied Terrorism Hindering Operation Simulation) was held in Southern Estonia.|