NATO To Conduct Large-Scale Military Exercise In Estonia
May 16, 2014
NATO to Conduct Steadfast Javelin Military Exercise in Estonia This Month
TALLINN: NATO’s Steadfast Javelin cooperative military exercise is set to get underway later this month in Estonia, the chief of staff of the country’s Defense Forces said.
The goal of the NATO drills, being run simultaneously with the large-scale Spring Storm international military exercises, is to practice the consolidated command of military operations of Estonian and allied troops.
The exercises will be led by the Allied Joint Force Command in Brunssum, the Netherlands, whose officers arrived in Estonia on Thursday.
“The decision of the Operational Command at Brunssum shows the significance of the Spring Storm exercises, and also strong support of the allies of the Estonian troops and the whole region,” said the Estonian Defense Forces’ Chief of General Staff Maj. Gen. Riho Terras.
“The planned NATO drills will give a great impetus to the development of our defense and give a possibility to the Spring Storm to become one of the most important exercises in the region,” he added.
This year’s Spring Storm involves over 6,000 troops and a record number of military units of NATO allies, including infantry from the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, soldiers from Latvia, troops from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team of the US army, as well as military personnel from Lithuania.
In addition, three Polish Sukhoi Su-22 attack aircraft will take part in the drills. The exercise also involves anti-aircraft personnel from Belgium and a group of French cyber defense experts will participate for the first time.
The Spring Storm drills have been held annually in different parts of Estonia since 2003. Estonia, as well as two other ex-Soviet republics in the Baltic Region, Latvia and Lithuania, joined NATO in March 2004.