British soliders serving with the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup at Tapa have joined colleagues deployed to the equivalent group in Poland in wishing people in both countries, as well as back home in the United Kingdom, a Merry Christmas.
"Merry Christmas to every one in Estonia, Poland and back in the UK from the British members of the eFP Estonia and Poland Battlegroups," a message read on the eFP's social media page.
Members of not only 5th Battalion, the Rifles (5 Rifles), an armored infantry battalion which forms the core of the Tapa eFP at present, but also from other regiments and units making up the eFP's current composition, including the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) and the Royal Military Police (RMP), sent out Christmas greetings via an accompanying video, which can be seen below.
Personnel at Tapa had also earlier enjoyed a "Secret Santa" interlude, giving and receiving presents that way.
The eFP in Estonia is based at Tapa, east of Tallinn, together with staff at Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) headquarters in Tallinn. 5 Rifles form the core of the group, following on from 1st Battalion the Fusiliers (First Fusiliers), the Queen's Royal Hussars, the King's Royal Hussars and other regiments, on a rotational basis. They have been joined variously by Belgian, French and Danish contingents.
The latter of these organized their traditional, 25-km, 10-kg load-carry/race on Christmas eve at Tapa, with the winners completing the course in a time of 2 hours and 13 minutes.
Some fantastic efforts on a very wintry #DANCON March on Christmas Eve Eve! It's a 25km race, carrying 10kg. Huge thanks to @ForsvaretDK Vidar Company and LOGDET for organising this event. Winning time: 2hrs 13 mins! #NATO @ComdUKeFP pic.twitter.com/zqrCbeZRaK— CO 5 RIFLES (@CO_5RIFLES) December 24, 2020
Latvia and Lithuania have analog eFPs, which are Canadian- and German-led respectively, while the Polish eFP is U.S.-led.
The eFP concept followed on from the 2016 NATO Warsaw Summit, becoming a reality the following year. It is a separate entity from the NATO Baltic air policing mission, based at Ämari.
Defense minister Jüri Luik (Isamaa) also issued his Christmas greetings to soldiers, allies and friends in the video below.
ERR News wishes all those serving in the eFP, the EDF, the Defense League and other NATO units, a very Merry Christmas 2020.
Editor: Andrew Whyte