UK's 1st Battalion Royal Welsh takes over as NATO's eFP unit leader
The British Army's 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh took over as the lead unit of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroups in Estonia on Friday.
The unit took over from the Royal Tank Regiment in a formal ceremony on Friday which was attended by Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet (Reform) and Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets (Center).
Troops from the United Kingdom, France and Denmark make up Estonia's battlegroup. The UK leads the unit and supplies 1,200 personnel to the group.
"The British Royal Navy and Danish volunteers fought with Estonian forces for our freedom already during our War of Independence more than 100 years ago. They have stood beside us since we regained our independence in 1991, and especially since Estonia joined NATO in 2004," Liimets said.
"Russia's war against Ukraine has created a new security situation for all of us, but especially for the countries on the forefront of the Alliance. The presence of the Allies here today is more vital to protect stability and security of our region than ever."
The 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh previously deployed to Estonia in 2017 for a nine-month tour. It is the UK's tenth rotation into Estonia since early 2017.
In recent months, as Russia massed troops on Ukraine's borders before it attacked, NATO allies pledged to increase the temporary troop presence in the region and along its eastern flank.
Baltic officials are calling for a permanent presence in the region.
Below is a map of where forces are stationed as of March 16, 2022.
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Editor: Helen Wright