The 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw set the conditions for the establishment of an enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to strengthen Euro-Atlantic security.
UK Armed Forces are taking a leading role in NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP), with the British Army leading a multinational Battlegroup in Estonia from early 2017.
The eFP in the Baltic States will see the deployment of robust, multinational, combat-ready forces to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, on a persistent, rotational basis. This movement forms part of a wider package of initiatives designed to enhance Euro-Atlantic security, reassure our Allies and deter our adversaries.
About 800 British personnel will rotate on a continuous basis alongside Danish, French, and host nation Estonian forces, with 5 RIFLES providing the bulk of the combat capable infantry force for the first rotation. A Light Cavalry Squadron, of approximately 150 personnel, will deploy to Poland, which will fall under the US eFP Battlegroup based there.
This deployment is just one aspect of a wide range of UK support to NATO. From January 2017, the UK assumed responsibility for NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) contributing about 3,000 personnel, leading a structured group of 14 partner nations.
5 RIFLES are providing the bulk of the infantry force in Estonia for the first rotation.
150 Personnel are deployed to Poland as part of the US eFP Battlegroup.
The UK-led Battlegroup in Estonia has been designed through collaboration and co-operation between the UK, Denmark, France and Estonia and the formation will total around 1,000 personnel.
This Battlegroup will be a defensive, but combat capable force, composed of two UK companies, enablers and a Headquarters element. The UK deployment will include armoured infantry, equipped with Warrior Armoured fighting vehicles, tactical UAVs and troop of Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks.
British forces will actively support the Estonian Defence Force’s 1st Infantry Brigade in its role protecting Estonia, conducting joint exercising and training to build a strong multinational force.
The UK-led Battlegroup will build on our strong relationships with the armed forces of the Baltic States and Poland. Through the Trans-Atlantic Capability Enhancement and Training initiative, British troops will work alongside other Battlegroups in Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to reassure our Allies that we stand by our NATO commitments to European security.