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Estonia: Spring Storm 2019 NATO exercise

Taking place in the north-east of Estonia, the exercise brings together over 9,000 troops, among them thousands of Estonian conscripts, reservists, active servicemen and hundreds of vehicles from 15 NATO countries and partners. Spring Storm started on 6 May and will carry on until 17 May 2019.

Estonia Spring Storm 2019 NATO exercise A British Army AW159 Wildcat scout helicopter lifts off during Spring Storms 2019, Estonia's largest annual military exercise (Picture source: NATO)

Spring Storm is the largest annual exercise conducted by the Estonian armed forces. Part of Spring Storm involves exercising in urban areas and the countryside. Estonian Defence Forces have been coordinating air, land and naval forces, testing cooperation between various command levels and conducting readiness drills. “Spring Storm shows NATO is capable to defend against any adversary”, said NATO deputy spokesman Piers Cazalet. “It tests how well our forces work together and it is a strong expression of Allied solidarity”. The exercise will test the readiness of NATO forces in responding to a fictional crisis.

Around 1,000 Allied troops assigned to NATO’s multinational battlegroup stationed in Estonia are taking part in the training. They are supported by Typhoon fighter aircraft from the United Kingdom and Germany alongside Polish aircraft, and Wildcat, Apache and Pavehawk helicopters. Some 2,600 Estonian conscripts are also taking part in the exercise which is marking the completion of their training. Spring Strom is also the main training opportunity for the country’s reservists with more than 2,300 taking part.