The exercises of the Kevadtorm Defense Force begin for the 15th time, in which about 9,000 troops from Estonia, allied countries and partner countries will take part; these are the most ambitious of the Kevadtorm exercises.
The exercises will mainly take place in the north and northeast of Estonia, but also in other regions of the country.
“Kevadtorm’s teachings are primarily a maturity test for senior employees who can demonstrate acquired skills. These are exercises of the Estonian Defense Forces, in which more and more allies are participating – this year more than 2,000 troops, ”said the commander of the Defense Forces, General Riho Terras. – Estonian defense together with the allies is best practiced in Estonia, because mutual understanding and fighting brotherhood are born here, and the allies gain experience in working on the Estonian landscape in cooperation with our military personnel. It’s especially important that our 1st Infantry Brigade will be able to practice in cooperation with the British, French and Danish allies who arrived here.”
During the three-week exercises, the Defense Forces will evaluate the actions of the infantry battalion consisting of urgent officers in battles of various categories and the level of training they completed before enrolling in the reserve. Cooperation between infantry and various weapons, as well as headquarters, units and allies, will also be evaluated.
On Monday, units begin moving to the training zone, on May 10, additional training and joint action training begins, where units of the 1st and 2nd infantry brigades will work out activities as part of the battalion and brigade.
The last stage of the exercises – tactical execution of combat missions – begins on May 18. At this stage, the 2nd Infantry Brigade and the NATO combat group will oppose the 2nd Infantry Brigade, which during the exercise will also include company-sized units from Germany, the USA, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. The 2nd Infantry Brigade will also include engineers from Finland and the Netherlands.
The Kevadtorm exercises focus on ground forces, but the Navy and Air Force also play an important role. The final construction will take place on May 25 at the central training ground of the Defense Forces. The construction will be followed by cleaning up the training area.
This year, most of the activities in the framework of the exercises will take place at and around the central training ground of the Defense Forces, but they will also take place in other regions of Estonia. Military personnel will mainly train in the districts of Harju, Järva, Ida- and Lääne-Viru, including in the volosts Kuusalu, Ania, Aegviidu, Tapa, Kadrina, Tamsalu, Väike-Maarya, Vinnie, Ryagavere, Symera, Haljala, Rakvere, Luganuse, Kiviõli, Sonda, Tudulinna, Avinurme, Määtaguse and Iizaku.
During Kevadtorm, various Estonian and Allied military equipment will also be used, for example, the M1A2 Abrams, Challenger 2 and Leclerc tanks, as well as the Scout Battalion infantry fighting vehicles CV9035, the British Warrior, the American Bradley and the French VBCI.
In total, about 9,000 members of the Defense Forces, reservists, and the Keitseliite, as well as members of the Allies and partners, will take part in the Kevadtorm exercises. In addition to Estonian and British, French, Danish and American troops stationed in Tapa, Kevadtorm also includes troops from Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Finland, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Georgia, as well as air transport from the USA, Poland, Belgium and Spain.