After two weeks in operation, the Defense Forces training exercise in Harju County, Kevadtorm (Spring Storm), is nearly over.
Major action in the Estonian Defense Forces' largest exercise since World War II has now ended, with soldiers called to a final formation at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds earlier this morning (see video on right). At the gathering, participants were thanked by Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu and Brigadier General Meelis Kiili.
The official end date of the exercise is set for tomorrow, when participating units will line up in the Kuusalu Stadium.
The general head of the exercise, Commander of the Estonian Army Artur Tiganik, said in a press release that the training had met its goals and Estonia was now more securely defended.
“The exercise reached a new qualitative level - for the first time, all types of armed services participated, and Kevadtorm can now be called an international exercise as members of six allied nations' defense forces were present,” he said.
The exercise wasn't only about military training - the Defense Forces' rear combat engineers built a sheltered picnic area in the capital's Pirita area (pictured above), spruced up the Song Festival Grounds and upgraded an old pedestrian dirt road on Tallinn's Narva maantee with 50 tons of gravel, according to another statement from Thursday.
Officials plan to double the number of soldiers participating in the next exercise, which is set for 2015.