“Estonia provides an ideal environment for practicing what we do best,” said Lieutenant Maguire, X company team leader from the 45 Commando Royal Marines. “The conditions today were perfect for conducting the amphibious landing. During the exercise, we were able to collaborate with other NATO allies, share existing skills, and practice cooperation.”
The amphibious raid involved a company of 45 Commando Royal Marines, Estonian Navy force protection vessels EML Risto and EML Roland, patrol ship EML Pikker, French patrol ship FS Cormoran, British landing ship HMS Albion, Estonian Navy coastal defence division, and a German Navy drone team.
“For us, this year’s Spring Storm has been characterized by close cooperation with our allies. This landing exercise, too, integrated cooperation closely between the units stationed on the coast and at sea,” said Commodore Jüri Saska, Commander of the Estonian Navy.
As part of the exercise, the Estonian Navy and French ships were tasked with providing maritime surveillance and force protection for the British vessel. The Navy’s coastal defence division practiced creating situational awareness at sea and collaborated with the Polish coastal defence unit and the German drone team.
Additionally, the Territorial Defence Region North of the Estonian Defence League practiced anti-landing operations during the exercise. “The units of the Territorial Defence Region North practiced delay and counterattack,” said Lieutenant Colonel Mikk Pukk, Commander of the Territorial Defence Region North. “The counterattack was conducted under the leadership of the 411th Battalion in cooperation with American, Danish, and British fighters. The allies provided us with intelligence and fire support, utilizing multiple rocket launchers and attack helicopters.”
Amphibious operations are associated with supporting the land front. The purpose of an amphibious landing is to open a second front or, for example, to join the progress of ground forces. Smaller amphibious raids often aim to destroy high-value targets.
Spring Storm is the largest military exercise of the Estonian Defence Forces, where the planning and implementation of military operations are practiced, and cooperation between Estonian and allied units is enhanced. The exercise involves active-duty personnel, conscripts, reservists, Defence League members, and soldiers from allied countries. For the first time, the exercise is being led by the division established last year.
Photo gallery – Estonian Defence Forces website.