Conscripts of the 1st Infantry Brigade of the Estonian Defence Forces have relocated from barracks at the Tapa base to a tent camp at nearby Lasna in order to free up room at the base for allied personnel.
As the conscripts spend long periods of time at the usual spring training exercises, the tent camp stands empty most of the time, regional paper Virumaa Teataja reported.
Since the beginning of April, the service compound of the EDF's central training ground at Lasna has served as home to a tent camp consisting of 90 tents with a total capacity of 640 personnel in order to accommodate conscripts who vacated their barracks at Tapa to accommodate allied troops.
Staff Warrant Officer Andreas Rebane, the chief warrant officer of the 1st Infantry Brigade, said that in connection with the arrival of the allies, it made sense to bump training exercising preceding the annual Spring Storm exercise forward by two weeks to the beginning of April.
"Troops come here for a few days when there's a break in the training exercise," Rebane explained. "There are heaters inside the tents; you can take care of your equipment there." He added that as many soldiers as possible are given leave on weekends.
The temporary tent compound is equipped with washing machines and a laundry drying room as well as 40 shower booths, four of which are reserved for women. Three times a day, meals are prepared at the Lasna compound's field kitchen and taken to troops participating in the exercise.
"The main difference with the Tapa military compound is that we live in the open air and there's no sauna; we have everything else," noted Rebane, adding that no conscripts voiced any complaints over having to give up their barracks for allied troops.
For a large number of conscripts, their military service will end at the conclusion of the large-scale annual Spring Storm exercise at the end of May.
Editor: Aili Vahtla