Estonia

Army rotates troops on NATO duties in Estonia

The British Army has rotated troops in Estonia as its continuing support of NATO continues.

As part of the regular rotation of forces, the Army's King's Royal Hussars (KRH) has formally taken over from The Royal Welsh in Estonia.

They will now lead NATO's enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup in Estonia, marking the 11th rotation of UK troops in the Baltic State since the battlegroup was formed in 2017.

UK Armed Forces have a leading role in NATO's eFP in the Baltic States, in order to enhance Euro-Atlantic security, reassure allies and deter any adversaries.  

The eFP in the Baltic States is a deployment of robust, multinational, combat-ready forces to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, on a lasting, rotational basis. 

British personnel rotate on a continuous basis alongside Danish, French, and host nation Estonian forces.

As the planned rotation of forces in the eFP was conducted, Colonel Dai Bevan, Commander of the eFP Estonia Command Headquarters said he recognised "the commitment and achievements of the outgoing British, Danish and French soldiers over the last six months, and the security they provided to Estonia and the wider region".

Colonel Bevan added: "Op Cabrit is the name of the UK operational deployment to Estonia where British troops are leading a multinational Battlegroup as part of the enhanced Forward Presence."

The first task for the new British-led Battlegroup and adjoining Danish Company "will be to complete their integration with the 1st Estonian Brigade and then start an intensive exercise programme into the winter".

In June, then Prime Minister Boris Johnson used the Madrid summit to expand the British military in the Baltic nation.

The presence in Estonia was to be bolstered as NATO dramatically escalated its ability to respond to Vladimir Putin's Russia.

This rotation of the battlegroups was officiated with a transfer of authority at their base in Tapa Camp, which saw the outgoing and incoming Commanding Officers parade with soldiers from the UK, Denmark and France.

A parade took place in front of Challenger 2 and Leopard tanks, armoured personnel carriers and an AS90 artillery gun.

The King's Royal Hussars (KRH) is an armoured tank regiment based in the south of England on Salisbury Plain Training Area and uses the Challenger 2 main battle tank to provide armoured strength on the battlefield. The regiment is on its second deployment to Estonia.

Joining the KRH is a Danish tank squadron from the Jutland Dragoon Regiment, replacing the Viking Company. 

Totalling more than 1,200 troops, the eFP Battlegroup also integrates with the established 200 Les Loupes soldiers from the 7th Battalion de Chasseurs Alpins on rotation from L'Armée de Terre (French army).

During the first weeks of deployment, the incoming troops will take part in a demanding training programme focused on interoperability which will culminate in the first major training exercise Bold Hussar next month.