Combat engineers of the Estonian Defense Forces taking part in the Spring Storm (Kevadtorm) exercise built a new bridge in the place of a broken one across Käru River in Järva County over the weekend so that locals would no longer have to travel many kilometers to the nearest intact bridge to reach their workplace safely.
"We've been doing quite well with the bridge construction as thing stand. We arrived on Friday evening. We managed to pull down what had been left of the old bridge quite quickly and put up the bearing structures of the new bridge," Sgt. Karl Kalvik from the Combat Engineer Battalion said, according to spokespeople.
He said that throughout Saturday, the units continued doing work related to the wooden structures and also a bit of earthwork.
"Since the combat support bridges of the defense forces are all vehicle based, you definitely need to get practice in doing things with your own hands. Especially the bridge platoon, but also the reconnaissance platoon, of course, which also needs to rehearse to better understand what is what when conducting reconnaissance," Kalvik said.
The old bridge built during the Soviet period had reached the end of its useful life. Its fate was sealed by a bus that sank through a structure of the bridge when driving across it.
Elari Hiis, Türi municipality deputy mayor, described the bridge as important for locals.
"If only because the road on the other side of the bridge is a very old one, and today it leads to the Toosikannu holiday center. The people who go to Toosikannu for work from the village here either have to risk their lives or take the long way around – almost 10 kilometers," Hiis said.
The new bridge was built from concrete support elements across which wooden beams are positioned.
The units taking part in the construction of the bridge are contingents from the Combat Engineer Battalion's conscript bridge platoon as well as the combat engineer reconnaissance platoon, with the logistics platoon supporting the undertaking with heavy machinery.
Spring Storm is an annual spring training exercise of the Estonian Defense Forces, which was held for the first time in 2003
Spring Storm 2020 has been divided into two – a field exercise took place from April 25 to 30, during which the participants went through the given tactical situation, while live fire exercises will be taking place on the central training grounds from May 1 to 8, during which the cooperation of infantry and combat support units in a real battle situation will mainly be trained.
In addition to allies and the subunits of the 1st and 2nd infantry brigades, the Cyber Command, Air Force and Military Police are also taking part in the exercise.
Editor: Marcus Turovski