At the beginning of May, Spring Storm exercise has begunin the southern and south-eastern regions of Estonia, involving both regular units of the Estonian Army, as well as the elements of volunteer forces or reserve components, along with a number of soldiers hailing from eight NATO member states and Finland. The exercise, the goal of which is to verify the interoperability between the elements involved in the training activities, is planned to last until 20th May.
Training of the Estonian 2nd Infantry Brigade (consisting mainly of the reserve troops) and the 1st Infantry Brigade of the Estonian Army (being a part of the NATO Response Force component), within the framework of the Baltic Battalion, is the main focal point of the operation. NRF Battalion also includes elements deployed by Lithuania and Latvia, along with a Dutch mechanized unit using the CV-90 IFV.
The operation assumes that a battle takes place between two brigades. The main goal of the Spring Storm training event is to check interoperability of the reserve forces in a variety of combat conditions. Offensive and delaying actions will be carried out during the initial stage of the exercise. During the second stage of the exercise, direct contact between the brigades will be simulated.
Overall, this year’s edition of the Spring Storm operation involves nine countries, besides the Baltic Republics, the Netherlands, the United States of America, United Kingdom and Germany. The exercise is also going to engage Polish pilots, Finnish staff officers and a group of specialists from Canada. US F-15, Polish Su-22 and British Eurofighter jets, along with CH-47 Chinook helicopters and V-22 Osprey VTOL aircraft are all expected to operate within the Estonian airspace.
At the same time, in the Finnish Kankaanpaa region, an exercise with US Army units participating in the training activities is taking place, including 20 Stryker vehicles. The said operation involves 2300 Finnish soldiers, along with 185 troops from the United States.