President Kersti Kaljulaid visited units of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) as well as of allied forces participating in the EDF's annual Spring Storm exercise on Tuesday. The work of all the units involved is "proceeding like clockwork," the president said.
The president visited the 1st Infantry Brigade's headquarters in Tapa on Tuesday morning, where she met with deputy commander of the EDF, Maj. Gen. Indrek Sirel, and the EDF's chief of staff, Brig. Gen. Veiko-Vello Palm, who introduced her to this year's Spring Storm (Kevadtorm) exercise and its progress in detail.
After that, the president visited units of the 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades as well as allied forces in Ida-Viru County, where she met with a variety of Estonian as well as allied officers and troops.
Spring Storm is an annual military exercise organized by the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) which began on April 29. Over 9,000 military personnel from more than a dozen NATO and partner countries are taking part this year.
Security Policy Adviser to the President Peeter Kuimet described Spring Storm as the culmination of the EDF's annual training cycle, BNS reports.
"The visit to the exercise enables the president as the supreme commander of national defense to get an overview of what our headquarters and units are capable of, as well as to express her appreciation for the Estonian and allied defense personnel taking part in the exercise," Kuimet was quoted by spokespeople as saying.
The bulk of Spring Storm's land exercises are taking place in Lääne-Viru County as well as Ida-Viru County, although some maneuvers are to be carried out in Harjumaa and Jõgevamaa as well.
The president is being accompanied on the trip by EDF Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Veiko-Vello Palm.
In late March, President Kaljulaid took part in the EDF's annual 30 kilometer load carry, a hike which she completed in four hours and 19 minutes while carrying a 15-kilogram backpack.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Dario Cavegn