Annual ‘Spring Storm’ exercise begins ({{commentsTotal}})

Soldiers during the 2014 Spring Storm annual military exercise in Estonia. In 2017, more than 9,000 personnel are participating.
Soldiers during the 2014 Spring Storm annual military exercise in Estonia. In 2017, more than 9,000 personnel are participating. Source: (mil.ee)

The Estonian Defence Force’s annual “Spring Storm” exercise is set to begin on Monday. Some 9,000 military personnel of the EDF as well as allied forces will participate in the exercise, which is conducted for the 15th time.

Most of “Spring Storm” will take place in North and Northeast Estonia, although personnel and equipment may be spotted elsewhere in the country as well.

Chief of staff of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF), Gen. Riho Terras, said that more than anything else the annual exercise was a test for all those in compulsory military service. Still, more than 2,000 allied soldiers would participate as well, Terras added.

The EDF will assess the performance of its current infantry battalion made up of soldiers in compulsory service in different scenarios and situations before they then join the reserve. At the same time, cooperation and joint efforts will be practiced of different service branches, staffs, units, and between the different militaries of the allied forces. Beginning Monday troops will move into the designated exercise areas, and on May 10 additional training exercises will begin where the units of the 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades will work within the actions of their battalion and brigade.

The final stage of “Spring Storm”, namely battle exercises, will begin on May 18. The 2nd Infantry Brigade of the EDF, backed up by Finnish and Dutch units, will act as opponent for the 1st as well as the NATO battle group, which also includes German, American, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Polish personnel.

The focus of “Spring Storm” is on the army, though the allied navies and air forces are involved as well. The exercise will end on May 25 in the EDF’s Central Training Area, after which the involved personnel will clear the affected areas of any remnants of the exercises.

Allied and international participation in “Spring Storm” includes British, French, Danish, American, Canadian, German, Dutch, Polish, Finnish, Swedish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, and Georgian units as well as the U.S., Polish, Belgian, and Spanish air forces.

Editor: Dario Cavegn