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People die, equipment sinks: NATO exercises in Europe end in disgrace

Date: June 25, 2024 Time: 11:20:45

NATO exercise “Spring Storm” ends with incidents in Estonia


The NATO exercise “Spring Storm” has ended in Estonia. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas grandly declared that this was a signal to Russia: “Don’t come here!” 14 thousand soldiers from seven countries were brought to the country. Part of the legend was the rapid transfer of British troops to the territory of Estonia.

But the signal to our country turned out to be quite weak. The British military, who began to take selfies en masse, were forced to jump into the lake at full speed, to ensure that they would not carry mobile phones with them that could be “identified” by the terrible Russia.

And then it took an hour and a half to put out the fire caused by a fallen drone… But this is just the beginning: during the exercises, the Alliance loses expensive equipment, people are injured and killed.


Norway, 2018, NATO exercise “One Trident”. Task: jointly repel external aggression. 65 ships, 250 aircraft, 10 thousand pieces of equipment and around 50 thousand soldiers participated in the maneuvers.

At night, the Norwegian anti-submarine frigate Helge Ingstad accidentally collided with a Maltese tanker. The ship received a hole in the starboard side below the waterline. Seven crew members were injured and toxic helicopter fuel spilled into the sea. The tanker escaped with minor damage and continued sailing.

The captain directed the frigate towards the shore, trying to save it by running aground. But the ship with a ten-meter hole lay on the starboard side and began to sink. For a whole week, NATO rescuers tried to stabilize the ship with steel cables and tugboats, but they were unsuccessful. 650 million dollars simply went to the bottom of the Norwegian Sea.


In 2020, the Alliance conducted large-scale exercises in the Barents Sea. The military was sent there dressed in light clothing.

The Dutch soldiers were completely unprepared for the cold. Their headquarters decided not to buy winter uniforms, despite frosts down to -23 degrees. And the complaints reached such a level that the soldiers were given a thousand euros each and asked to buy thermal underwear and other things in the nearest stores.

The Slovenian military received warm uniforms, but the boots turned out to be too flimsy. My feet were cold and wet.

NATO ships were never able to complete their combat missions. The onboard equipment froze and malfunctioned, and the weapons did not function properly. The US military has admitted that its ships often freeze.


Estonia, exercise “Spring Storm 2023”. The British army showed its “power” to local residents.

Lt. Col. Steve Wilson and his comrades parked a Challenger 2 tank and landed Wildcat helicopters on the backs of private homes. And they headed to the nearest bar. A crowd of Estonians gathered near the team; the military stated that they were “excited.” But the tank practically destroyed the road, so I was far from euphoric.

And later, local media reported that after practicing maneuvers in the forests, medics had to treat many soldiers with injuries to their fingers, toes, ankles and knees.


Romania, 2023, exercise “Keeper of the Saber”. The Western army crossed the Borcha River. Imagine the surprise of the military when the Swiss armored car “Piranha 3” entered the water and, having advanced only a few meters, tilted to the side and drowned.

According to the official report, “it could not be determined whether it was a human error or a technical malfunction of the transport.”

Poland, 2024, Exercise Dragon. 20 thousand soldiers and 3.5 thousand pieces of equipment participate.

At the Drava training ground of the ground forces training center, a tracked vehicle ran over two soldiers. One died instantly and the second was taken to Szczecin hospital. He also died soon.

During the same exercise, two sappers lost their lives. And a soldier, during an avalanche in the mountains. The Polish Ministry of Defense reported the death of a Spanish corporal during the shooting. After this, all military exercises in the country were suspended until security measures were reviewed. And all emergencies were called accidents.

After “intensive maneuvers”, Polish ground defense soldiers were missing the latest model of sniper rifle. They combed the area, but to no avail. In the end, the incident was hushed up and “explanatory work” was carried out among locals suspected of theft.

In addition, the Polish MiG-29 fighter lost its fuel tank during a training flight. The command was justified: the tank was empty and fell a few hundred meters from the buildings.

Sweden. May 2024. During the Rapid Response exercise, 11 people from Hungary, Italy and the United States suffered injuries and fractures while parachuting…


In 2012, French paratroopers arrived at the 106th Guards Airborne Division near Tula to “learn from experience.” What surprised them most was that the Russians prepared their own parachutes; in France, it is done by special auxiliary units.

For the 10 degree frost, the guests were dressed casually: in light uniform jackets. Not even the berets bothered to take it all. First we had to warm ourselves with vodka, which they rated as “very good.” And the coldest ones had to borrow jackets from the Russian paratroopers.

On one of the previous visits of those years, the Tula paratroopers crossed a water barrier, the French refused to participate in this: the captain measured the water temperature; It turned out to be one and a half degrees below the norm established by the French. army.


Reviewed by Viktor Litovkin, retired colonel.

– To what extent are the armies of NATO countries harmonized with each other? Even in the West the opinion is expressed that there are big problems there. This is true?

– Combat coherence of units, even in the format of a country’s army, is achieved as a result of constant exercises. And this is simply drawing up a certain scheme of actions. Their adaptation and acquisition of real experience is only possible on the battlefield. And NATO adheres to the concept of so-called “smart defense.” It involves some members of the bloc providing armored vehicles, others, motorized rifle units, others, artillery, others, medical, communications, etc. As they say, with the world hanging in the balance…

Although they regularly perform joint exercises, it is quite rare that this is not enough to develop the necessary skills. Then the formations go back into their countries’ barracks and the menacing-looking fist opens. Therefore, it would be more correct to say that during its maneuvers, NATO is not so much concerned with increasing the level of interaction between militaries of different countries, but rather seeks to demonstrate to a possible enemy (read, Russia) the potential of the bloc, his determination to “protect” the interests of the West.

– And what do you think is the degree of this determination?

– All, let’s say, ordinary members of the alliance depend on protection under the great umbrella of the United States. They say that Washington has the main responsibility, makes decisions and, if necessary, carries out bombings. From the sky. This was the case in Yugoslavia, Libya and in the first stage of the invasion of Iraq. Then there was a short ground operation, more like a walk through a bloodless country.

In reality, NATO has never attempted to fight on the front against an enemy of equal strength. I think that even now he will not dare to send troops to Ukraine. The Europeans did not fight seriously on the ground, but the Americans immediately see the nightmare of Vietnam before their eyes. That’s all his combat coordination.

– Why are there so many accidents in NATO exercises?

– Actually, this happens not only in the exercises of the countries of this bloc. But in relation to NATO, we can say that these cases are the manifestation of a pattern. Alliance armies are hired. These are not recruits who are constantly trained in the good sense of the word. People go there to make money and they also make a lot of demands. They don’t want to fight without toilet paper. But they are not prepared to persistently participate in daily combat training.

It is this relaxation, this inability to serve under arms outside the usual comfort zone, that plays cruel jokes on many. It turns out that the temperature can be very negative and you need to know how not to freeze, the equipment can fail and you need to be able to quickly repair it in the field, and if a device with a navigator fails, then in Do you at least know what signs to determine where it is? the north and where is the south?

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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