UK deploys soldiers to Estonia in support of Nato battlegroup

2 November 2017 (Last Updated November 2nd, 2017 11:11)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced deployment of troops to Estonia as part of Nato’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP).

UK deploys soldiers to Estonia in support of Nato battlegroup
British soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh have been deployed to Estonia. Credit: Crown copyright.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced deployment of troops to Estonia as part of Nato’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP).

To support a multinational battlegroup, this latest contingent comprises 800 soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh, which will replace 5th Battalion The Rifles.

The eFP battlegroup will now be led by The Royal Welsh and supported by elements from the King’s Royal Hussars, the Royal Engineers, and the Royal Artillery, as well as soldiers from France and Denmark.

UK Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “Nobody should be in any doubt of our unwavering commitment to the security of Europe through Nato in the face of Russian belligerence.

“In the face of intensifying threats, the UK has stepped up across Europe, with soldiers, tanks, and Typhoons deployed from Estonia to Romania.

“Nobody should be in any doubt of our unwavering commitment to the security of Europe through Nato.”

“Our enhanced forward presence is a strategic tripwire that we will maintain on an enduring footing.”

Prior to arriving in Estonia, The Royal Welsh soldiers completed a demanding period of training in the UK and Canada.

Commanding officer of 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh Lieutenant Colonel Owain Luke said: “We now look forward to training and operating with the 1st Estonian Infantry Brigade and our French and Danish allies as part of Nato’s wider defensive posture across the Baltic states and Poland.”

The UK’s battlegroup forms a part of the wider Nato eFP, with multinational forces deployed across the Baltic States and Poland, led by the US, Canada, and Germany.

In addition, the UK has 150 soldiers based in Poland as part of the US led battlegroup, and the Royal Air Force Typhoons have recently completed a four-month deployment to Romania.