First contingent of Royal Welsh on way to Estonia

Elements of the Royal Welsh on the way to Tapa.
Elements of the Royal Welsh on the way to Tapa. Source: ERR

The first batch of around 850 British Army personnel have left Germany, destined for Estonia, together with their heavy equipment, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Thursday.

Britain's ambassador to Estonia Ross Allen told AK (in Estonian) that: "They are traveling via Poland, Lithuania and Latvia."

"Our plan is that the first part reaches its destination by the end of next week," Allen, who confirmed the deployment earlier this month, continued.

The roughly 850 personnel come from 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh, an armored infantry battalion, and are mostly heading from Sennelager training area, Germany, where they had been based up until now.

The AK slot showed Warrior tracked armored vehicles used by the Royal Welsh being loaded on to transport trucks ahead of the roughly 1,600-km journey.

The Royal Welsh will be based at Tapa, joining the existing NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup and effectively doubling the size of the number of British troops on the ground in Estonia.

As to how long the Royal Welsh, who have been on a previous tour with Operation Cabrit, the British Army designation for deployment to Estonia, will remain at Tapa, Allen reiterated statements made earlier, that much depends on how the current security situation in the region pans out.

The deployment of a second battalion-sized British Army unit to Estonia follows the deterioration in the security situation in the light of large numbers of Russian Federation troops amassing on the border with Ukraine, as well as in Belarus, and Russian demands that NATO troops leave the region.

The existing eFP battlegroup at Tapa has been in existence for five years now and is mirrored by similar battlegroups in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

British Army personnel were due to leave the Sennelager training area, in North Rhine-Westphalia, from 2020, but again the deteriorating security situation regarding Russia has led to their return.

The original AK slot is here.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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