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Allied battalion to arrive in Estonia in spring

British soldiers arriving in Estonia for the annual Spring Storm exercise.
British soldiers arriving in Estonia for the annual Spring Storm exercise. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

The first troops of the multinational NATO battalion to be stationed in Lithuania will be arriving next week, with the full battalion arriving by June, while the battalion to be stationed in Estonia is scheduled to arrive during the spring and Latvia's battalion to arrive by June.

"The NATO battle group assigned to Estonia will arrive here in spring and should also be taking part in the Spring Storm exercise," military spokespeople told BNS. "Preparations for accepting the battalion-sized battle group began last September."

The Estonian Defence Forces' annual three-week Spring Storm exercise will be held in May.

The NATO battalion battle group will be stationed at Tapa and will act in conjunction with Estonia's 1st Infantry Brigade.

The UK will have 800 personnel with Warrior infantry fighting vehicles, Challenger 2 tanks and reconnaissance drones stationed in Estonia as part of the battalion. A French contingent will make up part of the battalion in the first half of the year, to be replaced later by a Danish contingent.

The first members of the German-led multinational battalion to be stationed in Lithuania are due to arrive there next week.

"The first troops are planned to arrive next weekk, but their number will be very small," Maj. Gen. Vitalijus Vaikšnoras, commander of Lithuania's Joint Staff, told journalists on Wednesday. He said that the main deployment and heavy movement would begin in February, with the battalion's final troops to arrive in Lithuania in June.

Maj. Gen. Leonids Kalnins, Latvia's Chief of Defence, told the press on Wednesday that the Canadian-led NATO battalion of more than 1,000 troops will fully arrive in Latvia by June. He said that small contingents will arrive before then in order to prepare for the arrival of the rest of the battalion. Canada will be providing half of the troops making up the battalion which will also include personnel from Albania, Italy, Spain, Poland and Slovenia.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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