A ceremony marking the handover of the Yorkshire Regiment to the incoming King's Royal Hussars (KRH) took place at Tapa base on Thursday.
The 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment (1 YORKS), an armoured infantry battalion equipped with Warrior tracked armoured vehicles, deployed to Tapa in July 2018, replacing the Royal Welsh, and forming the core of the NATO battle group stationed there.
NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Estonia is British-led, with troops from that country currently serving alongside those from Denmark and Belgium, and integrating with 1st Infantry Brigade of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF).
Due to the rotational nature of the eFP battle group, personnel from the KRH had already been at Tapa for some time, but the ceremony indicated that regiment forming the basis of the battle group for the next few months.
The battle group also has a new commander, Lt Col Gus Tilney, who replaces outgoing Col Thomas Miller.
''We face an exciting challenge in integrating into the 1st Brigade,'' said Lt Col Tilney on Thursday.
''We are sure to learn by working alongside you and will gain experience for ourselves from what is offered by the environment here,'' he continued.
The KRH is a cavalry regiment formed in 1992 from the amalgamation of two regiments, The Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales's Own) and the 14th/20th King's Hussars. It forms part of the British Army's Royal Armoured Corps, and as such is equipped with heavy armour, namely the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (MBT). Some Challengers had already been stationed in Estonia, with one participating in the independence day parade on 24 February.
As an integrated, armoured battle group, the unit will continue to be served by other regiments as well, including the Royal Engineers, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, the Army Air Corps, the Royal Military Police, and others.
1 YORKS was in Estonia for close to eight months.
A decision to beef up NATO's eastern flank was made at the 2016 Warsaw Summit, with the eFP becoming fact the following year. The eFP battle groups in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland are respectively Canadian-, German- and US-led.
NATO air policing duties are carried out from Ämari air base in Estonia, as well as at Šiauliai, Lithuania.
Editor: Andrew Whyte