A unit of the Queen's Royal Hussars to arrive in Estonia in the framework of the Tractable exercise formally began its five-month rotation in NATO Battlegroup Estonia with a ceremony held at Tapa Army Base on Tuesday.
The incoming unit, which is to serve alongside French troops, will replace a unit of the King's Royal Hussars that had been serving in Estonia since March, the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) said in a press release on Wednesday.
Commander of the 1st Infantry Brigade Col. Vahur Karus thanked the outgoing British unit for its service, saying that the troops did a very good job both in various exercises as well as in everyday service.
Addressing the incoming troops, Vahur wished them dedication and expressed hope that they would make good use of the training opportunities offered by Estonian nature and the troops serving here.
"You have five months ahead of you that will definitely be to remember — winter is coming, and it will teach you a great deal," Vahur said. "My advice to you is to learn and to teach. Your presence will teach our people in uniform the ability to take different capabilities into consideration and to make use of their virtues, as well as hone all parties' ability to work in an international environment."
The change of rotation formally announced on Wednesday began with the exercise Tractable in late October, in the course of which some 200 units of equipment and 800 troops arrived in Estonia. This exercise allowed participating units of the EDF and the volunteer Estonian Defence League (Kaitseliit) to hone their skills in receiving and supporting allies arriving in Estonia.
At the Warsaw Summit held in June 2016, the leaders of NATO's 28 member states agreed to station allied battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in response to the changed security situation. NATO Battlegroup Estonia is led by the U.K., with support from France and Denmark.
Editor: Aili Vahtla