Renewed: 21.04.2017, 13:23

17 March 2017 22:21

Nearly 130 servicemen from the NATO combat group arrived in Estonia

This evening, nearly 130 servicemen from the United Kingdom – part of the NATO combat group of nearly 1200 soldiers arriving this spring – arrived in Estonia.

“Participation by servicemen from the United Kingdom, France and Denmark is a clear sign that the member states of the alliance stand together in the defence of peace and freedom. With your presence here in Estonia you are defending all of NATO, not just Estonia,” said Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna to the Brits who arrived at Ämari Air Base.

The soldiers were also greeted by Her Majesty's Ambassador to the Republic of Estonia, Mrs Theresa Bubbear, and Colonel Veiko-Vello Palm, Commander of the 1st Infantry Brigade.

Eighty servicemen from the United Kingdom arrived beforehand in Estonia to prepare, in cooperation with the Estonians, for the arrival of the personnel and equipment of the NATO combat group.

The first 50 French servicemen who are part of the combat group will be arriving in Estonia on 20 March. The French will be contributing to the combat group for the next eight months, after which they will hand over responsibility to the Danes. The NATO combat group’s remaining personnel and their equipment will arrive here in the next few weeks.

Last June, at the Warsaw Summit, the leaders of NATO’s 28 member countries decided, as a result of the changed security situation, to deploy NATO battalion combat groups to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. The United Kingdom is the lead country for the NATO combat group to be stationed in Estonia, with France and Denmark being contributing countries.

The combat group is comprised of nearly 1200 allied soldiers. The United Kingdom has announced that its contribution to the combat group will be an armoured unit with 800 servicemen, which will be armed with tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, mobile artillery and armoured vehicles. France has announced that it will be contributing a unit of 300 servicemen to the combat group, which will be equipped with tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and armoured vehicles.

We are connected to the Brits, the Danes and the French by long-term defence related ties and a brotherhood in arms arising from joint participation in international military operations.

Headquarters of the Estonian Defence Forces, 717 1900, mil[at], Juhkentali 58, EE15007, Tallinn, Estonia.

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