NATO battalion battle group to start moving to Estonia
TALLINN– The personnel, arms and equipment of a battle group of the multinational NATO battalion will be moving to Estonia over the next six weeks.
The troops will be airlifted to Estonia via the Amari air base and the equipment will arrive by land or by sea, via the port of Paldiski.
“Estonia is ready to receive the allies,” Minister of Defense Margus Tsahkna said in a press release. “As soon as in May, the battle group of the allied battalion will take part in Spring Storm, a major exercise of the Estonian defense forces, in the composition of the 1st Infantry Brigade.”
Tsahkna visited last week the NATO battalion’s command element at the defense forces’ headquarters where he received a detailed overview of the allies’ arrival from the chief of the contingent, Col. Giles Harris. The deployment of NATO battle groups to countries on the borders of the alliance will ensure peace and stability, the minister said.
“The deployment of international battle groups is part of the alliance’s wider efforts to strengthen deterrence and defense, and a vigorous testimony to the alliance’s strength and resolve,” Tsahkna said.
Leaders of NATO countries decided at the Warsaw summit last July to deploy NATO troops to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland because of the changed security environment. The contingent to be stationed in Estonia will be led by the UK, with additional troops contributed by France and Denmark.
The UK has announced it will have 800 personnel with Warrior infantry fighting vehicles and Challenger 2 tanks stationed in Estonia. France will send five Leclerc tanks, 13 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and 300 soldiers.