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May 20 2021

Exercise Spring Storm unfolds in Estonia

TALLINN, Estonia - Large-scale exercise Spring Storm (Kevadtorm) kicked off on 17 May. Led by Estonia, this annual event tests the integration between NATO troops and the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF), strengthening their interoperability and responsiveness. The exercise involving substantial numbers of participants from across NATO will continue until 5 June.

CPT Aivo Vahemets, the Estonian Defence Forces' press officer, said that Spring Storm had always provided participants with realistic conditions. This year, a bulk of activities will be carried out at the EDF's central training area, and around 2,000 personnel from Denmark, France, Italy, Latvia, Poland, the U.K. and the U.S. are to join the 5,000 Estonians taking part.

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British soldiers from NATO eFP Battle Group during Spring Storm 2021 in Estonia / Photo by Junior Sergeant Mark-Erik Tölpt 

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Reservists with 22nd Infantry Bn, Estonian 2nd Infantry Bde perform drills as part of Spring Storm 2021 in Estonia / Photo by Junior Sergeant Mark-Erik Tölpt 

During the exercise, participants - including Estonia's flagship 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades - will check the synchronization of battle plans, cooperation across different levels of command and the readiness of units to perform combat task. Spring Storm's most intense part will start on 24 May, including live-fire drills, running through the final week.

The main activities will concentrate on the central training area of the Estonian Defence Forces, but will partially take place also in public space, CPT Vahemets says.

Since the Estonian Defence Forces rest upon army reserve soldiers, Spring Storm serves as a platform to increase and upgrade these units' operational skills.

One of Spring Storm's aims is to complete the training of conscripts and send them to reserve as well-trained subformations,

says LTC Erkki Roosnurm, the exercise planner, "Last year's Kevadtorm showed that it was possible to achieve training goals, even though the exercise was conducted on a smaller scale. We cannot make concessions in training easily, because Estonia must be protected in every situation, including the pandemic, and if necessary, our defence forces must cope with much more complex tasks," he adds.

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Kalev Infantry Bn, Estonian 1st Infantry Bde perfors drills as part of Spring Storm 2021 in Harju County, Estonia / Photos by PTEs Jarkko Martin Pukki and Kaimar Tauri Tamm 
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Kalev Infantry Bn, Estonian 1st Infantry Bde performs drills as part of Spring Storm 2021 in Harju County, Estonia / Photos by PTEs Jarkko Martin Pukki and Kaimar Tauri Tamm 
Kalev Infantry Bn, Estonian 1st Infantry Bde performs drills as part of Spring Storm 2021 in Harju County, Estonia / Video by PTEs Jarkko Martin Pukki and Kaimar Tauri Tamm 

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office, credit to ERR.ee

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