Fresh Estonian conscripts face off with Polish soliders in physical challenge ({{commentsTotal}})

Polish soldiers and Estonian conscripts shake hands after a friendly physical challenge between a visiting Polish infantry company and conscripts from the Estonian Defence Forces' Viru Infantry Battalion. July 25, 2016. Source: (

Conscripts from the Viru Infantry Battalion of the Estonian Defence Forces' 1st Infantry Brigade faced off against Polish servicemen from an infantry company currently in Estonia in a friendly physical challenge earlier this week.

According to a press release from the Estonian Defence Forces, Capt. Krysztof Ilnick, commander of the Polish unit currently in the northeastern city of Jõhvi, was impressed by the fighting spirit displayed by the Viru battalion's conscripts.

"They fought like true tigers," said the captain, adding that the Poles could certainly count on allies with such a strong fighting spirit if needed.

According to 2nd Lt. Priit Põdersalu, deputy commander of the Viru Infantry Battalion's 1st Infantry Company, the challenge was not easy for the Estonian conscripts who only just entered into training in July, as they faced professional Polish servicemen.

"The young men, recently come from civilian life, demonstrated that the only thing differentiating them in competition from the professional servicemen was weapon-handling speed," said Põdersalu.

The two competing sides had to push a truck, do pull-ups, crawl, run and deomstrate their weapon-handling skills. A winner was not declared, as the challenge's organizers simply aimed to improve participants' skills and physical fitness.

Monday's challenge was actually the second to be organized between the two sides; the first, held last week, was organized by the Viru Infantry Battalion while this week's was organized by the visiting Polish soldiers.

Nearly 150 soldiers in total from the 5th Infantry Company of the 7th Motorized Infantry Battalion of the Polish Armed Forces' 17th Motorized Infantry Battalion are conducting training and cooperation exercises in each of the three Baltic States over a three-month period.

The Polish unit arrived in Estonia from Latvia, where it had taken part in the annual Saber Strike exercise as well as various other joint exercises with US and Latvian military forces.

On August 1, the Polish company will head south to Lithuania in order to practice coopration skills together with Lithuanian forces.

Editor: Editor: Aili Sarapik

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