Posted: Fri 29th Apr 2022

Around 8000 troops including Royal Welsh Battlegroup to take part in biggest deployment in Europe since the Cold war

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Apr 29th, 2022


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Britain is sending 8,000 troops to Eastern Europe in one of the largest deployments since the Cold War.

The exercises are pre-planned but they have been scaled up in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The deployment will see 72 Challenger 2 tanks, 12 AS90 tracked artillery guns and 120 Warrior armoured fighting vehicles deploy to countries from Finland to North Macedonia.

Troops from B Squadron of the Queen’s Royal Hussars have deployed to Finland this week to take part in Exercise Arrow.

They will be embedded into a Finnish Armoured Brigade, with participation from other partners including the US, Latvia and Estonia.

“The exercise will improve the ability of UK and Finnish troops to work alongside each other as part of the JEF, deterring Russian aggression in Scandinavia and the Baltic states.” The Ministry of Defence said.

In May, Exercise Hedgehog will see the Royal Welsh Battlegroup and the Royal Tank Regiment exercising on the Estonia-Latvia border alongside 18,000 NATO troops, including French and Danish, who are part of the British-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence.

Hedgehog is the biggest military exercise in Estonia and takes place every four years.

The British Army’s 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh took over the lead role for the NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Estonia on the 18th March 2022.

Commander Field Army Lieutenant General Ralph Wooddisse said:

“The UK makes a significant contribution to the defence of Europe and the deterrence of Russian aggression. The British Army’s series of exercises is fundamental to both.”

“We continue to deploy across Europe, from the Baltic to the Aegean, to train and fight alongside our allies and partners, providing powerful, capable and ready forces to support NATO and show the UK’s commitment to peace and security.”

“A wide range of units from the Field Army will be involved, from light and airborne forces, to helicopters and armoured forces, supported by artillery, electronic warfare, air defence, surveillance drones, engineers and logisticians.”

“The scale of the deployment, coupled with the professionalism, training and agility of the British Army, will deter aggression at a scale not seen in Europe this century.”

Alongside Exercise Hedgehog, Exercise Defender in Poland is ongoing until late May, with 1,000 soldiers from the King’s Royal Hussars Battlegroup and C Squadron of the Light Dragoons deployed alongside troops from 11 partner nations including Poland, Denmark and the United States.

This exercise involves Challenger 2 tanks and other armoured vehicles deploying from the NATO Forward Holding Base in Sennelager, Germany.

The deployment is supported by 104 Theatre Sustainment Brigade operating from the UK and in bases in Europe.

In addition to the Army’s programme, the UK will deploy a major headquarters to the Baltic region, in support of the JEF.

[Ministry of Defence/Crown Copyright]

 

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