UK troops on Nato's biggest winter exercise in Estonia to keep alliance's 'front door locked'

Watch: UK troops and Nato allies train in Estonia amid Russian aggression in Ukraine.

British troops have been taking part in Nato's biggest winter exercise in Estonia, as part of a multinational training group made up of 1,300 personnel and 120 armoured vehicles. 

The annual drills of Exercise Winter Camp are the first since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, and the alliance believes these demonstrations of military capability and cohesion are key to preventing a Russian attack elsewhere.  

The UK has two squadrons of Challenger 2 tanks deployed to Estonia as part of a British-led Nato battlegroup stationed in the country. 

British troops, alongside allies from America, Denmark, Estonia and France, are also training with Himars, MLRS rocket launch systems and UK artillery.

Major Nick Bridges, Chief of Staff, Enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup, explained: "The scenario is there's been an enemy incursion into Estonia.

"It's penetrated quite far into the west and this is now us trying to launch a counterattack into the enemy's flank."

Estonian defence minister Hanno Pevkur says the Nato presence does not just protect Estonia; he believes it is key to the security of the entire alliance. 

He told Forces News: "[The] UK is one of the strongest allies we have. We all understand that it's a huge investment also what the UK is doing here in Estonia but, as I said, this is to keep Nato safe and this is to keep the front door of Nato locked."

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