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Biggest Spring Storm military exercise ever to start in Estonia on Monday
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    Topics - Defence Matters ENG - News

    Biggest Spring Storm military exercise ever to start in Estonia on Monday

    TALLINN, May 8 (LETA--BNS) - With nearly 9,000 participants from Estonia, allied and partner nations taking part, the 15th edition of the Spring Storm exercise starting on Monday will be the biggest of the military training exercises held under that name so far.

    While the exercise will mostly be held in northern and northeastern Estonia, defense forces personnel could also be spotted elsewhere in the country.

    "Above all, the Spring Storm exercise is a maturity exam for conscripts who can demonstrate their skills. It is an exercise of the defense forces of Estonia, in which more and more allies are participating every year - over 2,000 soldiers this year," commander of the Estonian defense forces Gen. Riho Terras said.

    "Protecting Estonia with the allies is best rehearsed in Estonia because this way, we reach a state of mutual understanding, brothers-in-arms mentality and the allies obtain experience of acting on Estonian terrain with our defense forces. It is especially important that our 1st Infantry Brigade can practice cooperation with the British, French and Danish allies deployed here."

    The three-week exercise will entail the evaluation of the activity of the infantry battalion consisting of conscripts in different battle types and their training level before the conscripts are assigned to the reserve. Also to be evaluated is interoperability between the infantry, different branches of the armed forces, headquarters, divisions, and allies.

    The units will begin moving to the training area on Monday. Starting on May 10, subdivisions of the 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigade will practice activity as part of a battalion and a brigade.

    The final phase of the exercise, consisting of carrying out tactical battle tasks, will begin on May 18. In this phase, the 1st Infantry Brigade and NATO battle group will be opposed by the 2nd Infantry Brigade involving company-sized units of German, U.S., Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish military. The 2nd Infantry Brigade will also include Finnish and Dutch pioneers.

    While the focus of Spring Storm will be on the land forces, a significant role will also be played by the navy and the air force. The exercise will conclude with a lineup at the central training ground of the Estonian defense forces on May 25.

    A big part of the training this year will take place at the central training ground of the defense forces and around it, but there will also be activity elsewhere in Estonia. The defense forces will mainly be training in the Harju, Jarva, East-Viru and West-Viru counties.

    The Spring Storm will also employ various combat equipment of the Estonian and allies troops, such as M1A2 Abrams, Challenger 2 and Leclerc tanks, CV9035 infantry fighting vehicles used by the Scouts Battalion, Warrior infantry fighting vehicles of the British forces, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles of the Americans and VBCI infantry fighting vehicles used by the French.

    Nearly 9,000 service personnel, reservists, Kaitseliit (Defense League) volunteers, as well as allied and partner soldiers will take part in the exercise. In addition to the Estonians, British, French, Danish and Americans located at Tapa, the troops participating in the exercise will include Canadian, German, Dutch, Polish, Finnish, Swedish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian and Georgian personnel. Airborne assets will be provided by the U.S., Poland, Belgium and Spain.

    • Published: 08.05.2017 13:21
    • LETA
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