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British troops to arrive in Estonia this Friday

British troops arriving in Estonia for the 2016 Spring Storm exercise.
British troops arriving in Estonia for the 2016 Spring Storm exercise. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

On Friday 130 British troops will arrive in Estonia. They are the first larger group of military personnel to be stationed in Tapa as part of a newly formed local NATO battle group.

Military equipment is also expected over the coming weeks, to arrive from the United Kingdom as well as from France, including tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and artillery.

There are currently more than 80 British soldiers in Estonia preparing the arrival of the NATO battle group in cooperation with the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF).

The battle group’s personnel is airlifted to Estonia via the Ämari air force base, while their equipment will arrive by land, or by sea via the port of Paldiski.

“Estonia is ready to receive its allies,” Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna (IRL) said in a press release earlier in March. “As soon as May, the battle group of the allied battalion will take part in Spring Storm, a major exercise of the Estonian defense forces, within the composition of the 1st Infantry Brigade.”

Leaders of NATO countries decided at the Warsaw summit last July to deploy NATO troops to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland in response to the changed security environment. The contingent to be stationed in Estonia will be led by the United Kingdom, with additional troops contributed by France and Denmark.

The UK announced it would send 800 personnel with Warrior infantry fighting vehicles and Challenger 2 tanks to Estonia. France will send five Leclerc tanks, 13 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), and 300 soldiers.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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