New urban warfare training facility opens in Rabasaare

The new mock-up town to be used for military training at Rabasaare.
The new mock-up town to be used for military training at Rabasaare. Source: RKIK

A new urban warfare military training area opened on the site of an abandoned village in Lääne-Viru County on Friday, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported.

The mock town, at Rabasaare, Lääne-Viru County, cost close to €5 million and the project was overseen by the National Defense Investment Center (RKIK).

In addition to the buildings and infrastructure making up the urban zone training area, a road linking the facility to the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) Central Training Area and a bridge crossing the Soodla River also had to be built.

The training area is the third of its kind the EDF has at its disposal, and also the largest.

Elari Kalmaru, whose department oversees training areas set up by the RKIK, told AK That: "Construction was complicated by the war starting in Ukraine, as this caused us quite major supply difficulties. Similarly, we had labor shortage issues. Construction makes a lot of use of Ukrainian labor, and it cannot be denied that this was mostly absent since the start of the war."

The facility hosts seven buildings of various sizes.

Rabasaare location in relation to Tallinn. Source: Google Maps

Chief of Staff of the EDF's Scouts Battalion (Scoutspataljon) Maj. Vladimir Kolotõgin said: "All these buildings are constructed in completely different ways; some resemble factory buildings, others rather more residential buildings."

"Live explosives can be used in entering the buildings, sicne their structures are designed with that in mind," he went on, adding that interior configurations can be altered, to stop layouts becoming too familiar or monotonous.

Work started on the facility last year, while when not in EDF or Defense League or other military use, it will be open to the public, with information boards set up to fill people in on the story of the site.

Elari Kalmaru pointed out that entry into the buildings, both the newly-constructed military training facilities and any old buildings left from the former settlement, is forbidden, and video surveillance is in place.

The last resident of Rabasaare moved away in 2020. At its peak, the village, whose main industry was peat cutting, was home to around 600 people.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Barbara Oja

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera'

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