Yesterday marked the launch of the UK-led Enhanced Forward Presence deployment in Estonia, where an 800-strong British-led battle group will work with Estonian, French and Danish partners.
Working under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Mark Wilson, the UK troops from 5 Rifles battle group, based in Bulford, Wiltshire and The Queen’s Royal Hussars, based in Paderborn, Germany will work with our Eastern European allies and ensure that we stand with them shoulder to shoulder in the face of any potential aggression.
The UK has committed more than 300 vehicles to support Estonia during this deployment, including Warrior infantry fighting vehicles, Challenger 2 tanks, AS90 self-propelled artillery guns and Terrier, Titan and Trojan armoured battlefield engineer vehicles.
Attending the flag-raising ceremony at an Estonian military base in Tapa, the Defence Secretary was joined by his allied colleagues, marking the contributions from France and Denmark to the UK battlegroup.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:
“The troops I have met today are part of one of the UK’s largest ever deployments to Eastern Europe. This marks our commitment to European security and standing with our allies in the face of an increasingly assertive Russia.”
This deployment to Estonia takes the total British deployment in Eastern Europe to nearly 1,000, with 150 UK personnel to the presence in Poland – part of the UK’s support of the US led EFP battalion there. NATO is also establishing battlegroups in Latvia and Lithuania.