CinC Attends Scouts Battalion Training in Latvia
The Adazi military training area, Latvia
( Photo: Pärnu Postimees / Scanpix )
On April 11, Commander in Chief of the Defense Forces, Brig. Gen. Riho Terras attended the Scouts Battalion training exercise Gungnir held at the Adazi training area in Latvia to observe the preparations by the Estcoy-14 infantry unit which will deploy to Afghanistan in May.
"The most important thing is for the Estonian servicemen to return from Afghanistan safely," said Terras. "We must prepare them as thoroughly as possible for the challenges they will encounter during their tour of duty, with special attention paid to homemade explosive devices as well as other dangers facing them in Afghanistan."
According to Terras, who visited Afghanistan in March, the Gungnir training exercise focused on honing the same battle tactics that have been integral to the success of the operations carried out by the Estcoy-13 unit which is currently serving in the Helmand province.
Terras stated that the live-fire exercises demonstrated the professionalism of the Scouts Battalion soldiers and also expressed satisfaction with the conditions created for holding training exercises in Adazi. "We will continue using the Adazi training area within the foreseeable future, although our goal should be to create equivalent conditions in Estonia," he added.
While in Adazi, Terras met with the Latvian Chief of Defense, Maj. Gen. Raimonds Graube, the commanding officer of the next Estonian contingent to be deployed to Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Margus Koplimägi, and the commander of the Scouts Battalion, Lt. Col. Vahur Karus.
Gungnir is the final training exercise that Estcoy-14 takes part in before deploying to Afghanistan. Its participants include around 300 Defense Forces members from the Scouts Battalion, the Guard Battalion, the Viru Infantry Battalion, the National Defence College, and the Battle School of the Defense Forces.