Originally planned to take place across several counties, this year's Spring Storm military exercise, which has since been scaled down, will be taking place exclusively on the grounds of the Estonian Defense Forces' (EDF) Central Training Area.
This year's exercise will now only involve a third of originally planned participants, ETV news broadcast "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported. Among those not to participate after all are allies and partners from abroad.
"Together with our allies, the number would have been around 10,000," said Lt. Col. Targo Lusti, chief doctor of the EDF. "The number will total around 3,000-4,000. We see no need and no opportunity for more than that right now."
Spring Storm will take place approximately from April 26 through May 8, although preparations for the large-scale exercise are already underway. The tactical portion of the exercise, which would have been focused on Central Estonia this year, is canceled.
"It's possible that much of this year's Spring Storm will be one big battle stage, which each year follows the traditional Spring Storm," Lusti noted.
It is expected that no more conscripts will be quarantined during Spring Storm than in previous years — a few dozen diagnosed with upper respiratory infections. Since April 7, no new infections have been diagnosed in the EDF.
British and Danish troops from NATO Battlegroup Estonia, however, will still take part in Spring Storm. No cases of infection have been diagnosed among them, and allied troops have been tested.
Editor: Aili Vahtla