Unlike other exercises, this one took place in civilian areas

Kevadtorm, the images of the armored deployment of the Spanish Army in Estonia

On the occasion of NATO's large Steadfast Defender 2024 exercise, the Spanish Army is deploying in many places.

The joint mission of Eurofighter combat aircraft from Spain and Germany in Estonia
These are the five smallest armies in the NATO, two of them in a zone of high tension

During this month of May, the Spanish contingent in Latvia, which is part of NATO's eFP Battle Gruoup Latvia, has been deployed to neighboring Estonia, a member country of the NATO since 2004, to take part in the Kevadtorm (Spring Storm, in Estonian) exercise, organized annually by the Estonian Defense Forces and which this year is part of the Steadfast Defender 2024 exercise, the largest maneuvers of the Atlantic Alliance since the Cold War.

Almost 14,000 soldiers from 15 countries have participated in this exercise. Spain has contributed 300 soldiers with armored vehicles, including Leopard 2E battle tanks. Unlike other military maneuvers, this Estonian exercise has been developed in inhabited civilian areas, such as the county of Pärnu and the islands of Hiiumaa and Saaremaa, to give greater realism to the objective of this operation: rehearse an evacuation of civilians in the event of an attack. To this end, the exercise included the participation of reservists from the Estonian Defense League, a volunteer military organization founded in 1918, which brings together some 18,000 men and women and whose objective is the defense of each town.

This military exercise is framed in a scenario of great tension in Europe due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Moscow's provocations to the Baltic republics. The most recent of these occurred a few days ago and has been directed precisely against Estonia, when Russian border guards have removed 24 signaling buoys marking the Estonian side of the border in the Narva River.

You can see in this entry some photos of the Spanish participation in this Estonian exercise. The photos have been published by the General Staff of Defense (EMAD) of Spain, the French Forces in Estonia and Combat Camera of Canada, the latter taken by Corporal Sébastien Lauzier-Labarre.

Spanish Leopard 2E battle tanks in Pärnu County, Estonia, on May 12.

Three Spanish armored vehicles hidden in a forest in Estonia. From left to right, an M-113, an M-548 artillery ammunition vehicle and an M-109A5E self-propelled howitzer.

A column of Spanish military vehicles at the Via Ikla border crossing, in Parnü county, on May 9. We see Iveco Trakker 450 E5 VEMPAR trucks transporting M-548 ammunition vehicles and M-113 armored vehicles. In the foreground we see an Estonian Army transport officer.

An Estonian officer (right) talking to a Spanish soldier at the Via Ikla border crossing. In the background we see the Spanish convoy of Iveco Trakker 450 E5 VEMPAR trucks with trailers. In the photo you can see, from right to left, an M-113, an M-548, an M-577A2 command vehicle (based on the M-113) and another M-548.

Another image of the Spanish convoy at the Via Ikla pass. The acronym MOVCON that the Estonian soldier carries on his back means Transport and Movement Coordination and Control.

An Estonian Army transport officer measuring the clearance of a Spanish military truck Iveco Trakker 450 E5 VEMPAR, which was transporting an M-548 ammunition vehicle, at the Via Ikla border crossing between Latvia and Estonia.

The loader of a Spanish Leopardo 2E battle tank loading blanks into the MG-3 machine gun located next to its hatch, during this exercise in Estonia.

A Spanish Army M-113 VCZ sapper combat vehicle in the town of Abja-Paluoja, Parnü county, Estonia, on May 12.

A Spanish Leopard 2E battle tank during the Kevadtorm exercise in Estonia, passing by a civilian building.

An M-113 VCZ sapper combat vehicle of the Spanish Army in a forest in Estonia. A few meters in front of him we can see a land mine.

Three Spanish Leopard 2E battle tanks on a rural road in Estonia during this exercise. Despite the stormy name of these maneuvers, the landscapes are very spring-like.

+ UPDATED 2.6.2024 8:12 p.m.: The eFP Battle Group Latvia has published today a video of this deployment that includes Spanish military vehicles:

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