British Army troops from NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup Estonia travelled to Latvia to conduct armoured vehicle drills and training. Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) is a NATO-allied forward deployed defense and deterrence military posture in Central Europe through Poland and Northern Europe through Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, in order to protect and reassure NATO’s Central and Northern European member states on NATO’s eastern flank of their security. Following Russia’s invasion of Crimea and its War in Donbass, NATO’s member states agreed at the 2016 Warsaw summit to forward deploy four multinational battalion battle groups to those NATO member states perceived to be most at risk of a possible Russian attack or invasion.
The United Kingdom deploy 800 personnel from the British Army’s 5th Battalion, The Rifles with Warrior infantry fighting vehicles and the Queen’s Royal Hussars with Challenger 2 main battle tanks, both part of the 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade. Artillery, an armoured engineer squadron, logistics specialists and reconnaissance assets will be attached to the British contingent. The British unit will be supported by a mixed battle group from the French Army’s 9th Light Armoured Marine Brigade. The British Army’s 5th Battalion will rotate back to the United Kingdom in November 2017 and be replaced by a battlegroup formed around the 1st Battalion, Royal Welsh. In an exercise that included a live-fire display from the UK Challenger 2 main battle tanks, the battlegroup demonstrated its continued readiness and alertness throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.