Estonia: Admiral Pitka Recon Challenge starts up

  • 2016-08-03
  • BNS/TBT Staff/Tallinn

Twenty six four-person teams from nine countries started the annual Admiral Pitka Recon Challenge last night at 9 p.m.

Over the course of four days the participants must traverse the long-distance course of approximately 120 kilometres, moving stealthily, dodging opposing force patrols and ambushes, and solving various tasks requiring military skills at checkpoints.

Admiral Pitka Recon Challenge provides participating nations with an exceptional event at which to compare skills and share experiences, chief of the Estonian volunteer corps Kaitseliit (Defense League) Brig. Gen. Meelis Kiili explained. "The competition will certainly be tough but fair at the same time, as nobody has any advantages out on the course; all are equal," he said. "All who set out in this competition are winners."

International participants in this year's event include two teams from Poland, Finland, Denmark, and Britain each, and one team each from Sweden, the United States, Spain, and Lithuania, spokespeople for Kaitseliit reported.

The volunteer defense organisation itself fielded eight teams and its women's branch, Naiskodukaitse, is represented by one team. Estonia is also represented by two teams of the Scouts Battalion and one team of the Engineer Battalion of the defense forces, one team of the Prison Service, and a joint team of the Prison Service and the Police and Border Guard Board.

Admiral Pitka Recon Challenge, regarded as one of the world's most difficult military endurance competitions, takes place in a different region of Estonia each year to minimise the home field advantage of local teams. This year's challenge is being held in the western Rapla County between Aug. 2 and Aug. 6.