The British Army's Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) is set to deploy personnel to Estonia later this year, according to military and defense breaking news site militaryleak.com. The RTR, which uses Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks (MBT) among other equipment has been training in Germany in advance of the deployment, which will take place in September.
RTR commanding officer Lt. Col. Simon Worth told militaryleak.com that: "The real value of [northern German training center] Sennelager is that it closely reflects the operating environment that we would expect to operate on in Estonia and therefore, for us, it provides an excellent kind of dry run rehearsal that will take us to where we need to be."
The rehearsals encompassed around 750 personnel in an exercise aptly named Tallinn Dawn, while the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup based at Tapa, Lääne-Viru County, will host the RTR's Dreadnought Squadron, in addition to C Company from the Royal Welsh and support elements from the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, the Royal Logistics Corps and others.
Denoted Operation CABRIT (Op CABRIT), the upcoming rotation will be the eighth of its kind since the U.K.-led eFP became a reality in early 2017, on the back of the NATO Warsaw Summit the previous year, and will replace 1st Battalion, the Mercian Regiment, who have been at Tapa since late March.
The RTR is part of the Royal Armored Corps along with regiments such as the Queen's Royal Hussars and the King's Royal Hussars, both of whom have passed through eFP rotations at Tapa in the past couple of years.
Since tanks, originally code-named "water tanks for Russia" during their development phase – the name stuck – were a British invention during World War One, this makes the RTR, which traces its lineage back to that conflict, the oldest tank unit in the world.
The full militaryleak.com piece is here.
Challenger 2's have been on exercise in Estonia several times previously, including during this year's Exercise Spring Storm (Kevadtorm).
Royal Engineers personnel have already been active in Estonia recently, with divers from 26 Engineer Regiment surveying riverbeds in Estonia in conjunction with the Estonian Defense Forces' (EDF) 1st Infantry Brigade.
Editor: Andrew Whyte