The UK King‘s Royal Hussars have officially handed over to the UK Queen‘s Royal Hussars the new lead unit of NATO‘s ehanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Estonia (eFP BG). On Sunday 19 March, a Transfer of Authority ceremony took place at Tapa camp to formally confirm the handover of Command of the eFP BG.
The eFP BG element will consist of:
- A reconnaisance squadron equipped with Warrior Armoured Fighting vehicles
- A heavy armour Squadron equipped with Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks
- A company of mechanised infantry from the 3rd Battalion, The Rifles equipped with the Mastiff Armoured Personnel Carrier
- A battery from 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery equipped with the AS90 155mm howitzer
- An armoured Squadron from 22 Engineer Regiment equipped with Bulldog Armoured Fighting Vehicles
- A French company of the 13th Legion Infantry Regiment – from Foreign Legion –reinforced by a squad of AMX 10-RC wheeled armoured vehicles, a platoon of engeneers and an other one of artillery. They are bringing with them the impressive new Griffon 6x6 wheeled armoured vehicles.
Incoming Commanding Officer of the Battlegroup Lt Co. Stephen Wilson said:
“We are proud to be leading the NATO Battlegroup in Estonia and welcome the opportunity to integrate and train with our Estonian and French colleagues. Whilst we are a tank regiment, the Battlegroup will be a combination of heavy armour, motorised infantry, mechanised infantry, anti-tank troops, artillery and engineer assets.“
“This means that NATO troops of various capabilities are able to train and adapt to the terrain in Estonia and we can join the thousands of British, French and Danish soldiers who have learned how to operate on NATO’s Eastern flank.”
The rotation of forces within the NATO Battlegroup in Estonia allows different national forces to train different capabilities with the EDF.
Commander of the incoming French forces, Major Jean-Christophe said:
“From today, we are permanently deployed in Estonia, as part of NATO‘s eFP Battlegroup led by our UK Allies. The new Griffon armoured vehicle with its on-board systems is among the most innovative and modern equipment operated by the French Army.“
“Utilising these new assets, we will increase our interoperability with Allied forces in Estonia, especially with the new on-board technology.“
Soldiers of the Danish Jutland Dragoon Regiment recently rotated back to Denmark. The Battlegroup now consists of a total of more than one thousand soldiers from France and Britain, the framework nation, with support of personnel from Denmark and Iceland.
A total of more than twelve thousand soldiers from the four Allied nations have served in Estonia in the past six years, ensuring interoperability and integration in NATO security.