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KEVADTORM 2019 ~ Battle For Sillamäe

Blue Force anti-armour team (MILAN) guarding one of the eastern approaches - the operator is using the weapon's optics to scout the distant treeline as colleagues observe other axes of possible approach [©BM]

Overnight on Monday the Yellow Force battle group in the Sirgala area of Eastern Estonia rolled back Blue Force, who consolidated in the town of Sillamäe, reports Bob Morrison.

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The Estonian Defence Force infantry brigade deployed in Sillamäe on Tuesday 7th May put up a stout defence, but sheer weight of numbers on the Opposing Forces side relentlessly forced them back westwards. We moved forwards through the town with Yellow Forces throughout Tuesday morning before relocating to the vicinity of Jõhvi to catch British (Blue Force) Wildcat helicopters flying NATO eFP Battle Group troops forward to bolster the defence and Royal Artillery Stormer HVM close air defence vehicles protecting their FARP (Forward Armour and Refuelling Point) and the Battle Group HQ. Hopefully the accompanying images will give readers a brief feel for the action and we will update with a proper feature once KEVADTORM 2019 is well and truly over.

Footnote: KEVADTORM is used to exercise and validate both of Estonia’s Infantry Brigades, so Estonian troops participate in both Blue and Yellow Forces with only yellow tapes differentiating. Two of NATO’s eFP Battle Groups are deployed in support of both Yellow and Blue ~ we will explain in more detail in a future feature.

[ images © Bob Morrison ]

Yellow Force troops cautiously advance through woods on the edge of the town [©BM]
Operations in built-up areas require a different skills set from rural operations [©BM]
Yellow Force fought right through the centre of Sillamäe town [©BM]
Three British Wildcat helicopters supported Blue Force [©BM]
One of the Stormer HVM air defence vehicles deployed by 12 Regt. RA [©BM]
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