Poland sending infantry company to Estonia (3)

Polish soldiers. (Kacper Pempel/Reuters/Scanpix)
3/17/2016 1:01 AM
Source: BNS
Category: News

Poland will be sending a motorized infantry unit to Estonia in spring of this year; arrival and length of stay have yet to be determined. Germany and the UK will also each be sending a company-sized ground unit to Estonia this year as well.

Poland will be sending a company-sized motorized infantry unit to Estonia this spring which will also be taking part in Estonia’s major annual military exercise “Spring Storm”, a spokesman for the Headquarters of the Estonian Defence League told BNS. Details on the unit’s length of stay and exact plan of action in Estonia will be announced in the near future.

“Poland is our most important ally in the Baltic Sea region, and it is important for us that, in addition to the United States, other NATO member states send their units to Estonia as well,” the spokesman added.

German armed forces will be sending a company-sized unit to Estonia this year as well, which is slated to arrive this summer and remain in Estonia until November, and whose military equipment will include Boxer Multi-Role Armoured Vehicles (MRAVs). Excepting one occasion where a medical module Boxer was part of the equipment brought here by a Dutch unit for training earlier this year, this summer will be the first time that this type of armored vehicle is deployed in Estonia.

The United Kingdom will also be sending a company-sized ground unit to Estonia this year, the arrival of which will depend upon the rotation schedule of other allied forces.

During a visit to Lithuania in January, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Euorpean and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland told BNS that the United States is calling on other allies to send their own troops to the Baltics as well, so that there would be an international battalion stationed in each of the three Baltic States.

“The idea is that each Baltic state has its own company that is ready for action, and a US company likewise ready for action,” explained Nuland. “So the question is whether we can find one more ally who would join us with a company on permanent rotation, and whether we can combine these companies in such a way that it would guarantee a battalion-sized force [in each country] at all times.”

Meeting with Latvian Minister of Defence Raimonds Bergmanis on Tuesday, Polish Minister of National Defence Antoni Macierewicz confirmed that Poland will be sending an infantry company to the Baltics, reported the Latvian Ministry of Defence’s press office.

Editor: Aili Sarapik

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