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Estonian Defence Forces to rent heavy machinery from construction companies

Tracked excavator. The 2nd Infantry Brigade will need six of these, and is planning to rent them.
Tracked excavator. The 2nd Infantry Brigade will need six of these, and is planning to rent them. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

The Estonian Defence Forces are increasingly concentrating on the technical aspects of defense. This is in part a result of the presence of Estonia’s NATO allies. Heavy equipment requires roads, which need to be built—or, in some cases, artificially obstructed. They have now decided to change their approach, and rent part of the equipment they use.

The EDF’s 1st Infantry Brigade based in Tapa has the equipment it needs readily available, last but not least because of the base’s location at the EDF’s Central Training Area, which needs to be set up and adapted for exercises.

But the 2nd Infantry Brigade, based in Võru in the south, has now decided to rent its heavy equipment.

This brigade, only three years old, has other things it needs to spend its money on first, as its commander, Col. Eero Rebo, told ERR’s Aktuaalne kaamera newscast on Monday. So it will rent the up to eight tractor excavators, six tracked excavators, front loader tractors, and trailers to move the vehicles it needs.

All of the required machinery will have to be rented year-round, as any of it needs to be available at very short notice.

“We need to be ready to use them. This gives us the readiness to react in different crisis situations, one of the most important of which is war,” Rebo said.

Private companies couldn’t give up their equipment just like that. Construction company Lemminkäinen Eesti for example told Aktuaalne kaamera that they couldn’t meet the demands of the EDF. The machines could only be rented to the military during times the company isn’t using them itself.

Rebo thinks this shouldn’t be an issue, as there are plenty of companies in South Estonia whose area of activity makes the kind of heavy equipment necessary. “Ideally of course we’d have everything we need. But we’re a small country, a small people, and I think we need to use these broader possibilities for national defense as best we can,” Rebo said.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source:, Aktuaalne kaamera

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