French Dragoons Begin Tour of Duty as Part of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presenc Battlegroup Estonia
French Dragoons Begin Tour of Duty as Part of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presenc Battlegroup Estonia

French Dragoons Begin Tour of Duty as Part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presenc Battlegroup Estonia

On 15 December, NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup Estonia saw the transfer of authority between French contingents stationed in Tapa. Captain Stéphane with the 5th Dragoon Regiment relieved Captain Maximilien with the 1st Chasseur Regiment as commander of the French detachment serving as part of the British-led battalion. The Dragoons have already completed exercise Bold Jupiter, which was conducted on 14-17 December. The event served to integrate the French soldiers with their British counterparts concerning procedures, standardization, and interoperability. The core of the French detachment is formed by two tank platoons as well as infantry and reconnaissance soldiers.

1st Chasseurs Regiment on their tour of duty in Estonia / Photo by État-major des armées
1st Chasseurs Regiment on their tour of duty in Estonia (Photo by État-major des armées)

The Chasseurs had served in the eFP Battlegroup, comprising soldiers of the British and French Armed Forces, since September 2021. During this time, they completed several training activities, including seven multinational exercises and five firing campaigns with their signature Leclerc main battle tanks. The outgoing contingent performed deterrence tasks in Estonia and beyond. Among other training events, exercise Bold Axe was one of the most important cooperative endeavors the Chassuers undertook. Held in? daži, brought together Allies from Estonia, Latvia, Canada, Poland, Norway, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, the Netherlands, and the U.S.ems areas, in support of domestic and international customers.

Advertisement
1st Chasseurs Regiment on their tour of duty in Estonia / Photo by État-major des armées
1st Chasseurs Regiment on their tour of duty in Estonia (Photo by État-major des armées)

Commander 7th Armoured Brigade (7e Brigade blindée) Brigadier General Cédric du Gardin, who officiated the transfer of authority ceremony, highlighted France’s contributive efforts to maintaining peace and stability across NATO’s eastern flank. Both the incoming and the outgoing formations are the Brigade sub-units. The Dragoons represent the 12th rotation of French troops on what is called in France Mission Lynx, aka the French operational deployment to the Baltic states within the eFP framework. This is the second time the 5th Dragoon Regiment serves with the enhanced Forward Presence. Previously deployed to Lithuania (summer/autumn 2020), they will stay in Tapa until mid-March 2022.

1st Chasseurs Regiment on their tour of duty in Estonia / Photo by État-major des armées
1st Chasseurs Regiment on their tour of duty in Estonia (Photo by État-major des armées)

Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) is a NATO-allied forward-deployed defense and deterrence military force in Central and Northern Europe. This posture in Central Europe through Poland and Northern Europe through Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are in place to protect and reassure the security of NATO’s Central and Northern European member states on NATO’s eastern flank. Following Russia’s invasion of Crimea, NATO’s member states agreed at the 2016 Warsaw summit to forward deploy four multinational battalion battle groups to areas most likely to get attacked. The four multinational battalion battle groups are based in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, and are led by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and the United States.

French Dragoons Begin Tour of Duty as Part of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presenc Battlegroup Estonia
Transfer of authority between French contingents in Tapa, Estonia on 15 December (Photo by État-major des armées)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.