Spring Storm Becomes Steadfast Javelin ({{commentsTotal}})

As of today, Kevadtorm, the big annual spring Defense Forces exercise in the southern Estonian woods, is also known as Steadfast Javelin.

The NATO exercise serves as a drill for interoperability in a situation where allied forces are operating on Estonian soil alongside Estonian units. Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum officers, who arrived yesterday, are in charge of this phase of the operation, the Defence Forces general staff said.

Maj. Gen. Riho Terras, commander in chief of the Defense Forces, says the planning of the NATO exercise elevates Kevadtorm into one of the region's most important exercises.

It will allow troops to rehearse situations where units on Estonian soil need urgent backup.

Steadfast Javelin is part of NATO's Connected Forces Initiative to integrate regional and national exercises with NATO maneuvers.

The combat scenarios are continuing as before - an international unit led by Estonia's Scouts Battalion is pitted against a conscript battalion and the home guard's territorial defense battalion.

The international unit consists of the US 173rd Airborne Brigade, the UK's Duke of Lancaster's Regiment units, a Latvian infantry company, a Lithuanian recon platoon. Three Su-22 jets and a SA-8 anti-air battery from Poland are also involved, tasked with protecting Ämari Air Force Base. Belgian anti-aircraft forces are also participating.