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Dec 22 2021

French dragoons BEGIN tour OF DUTY as part of NATO'S eFP Battlegroup Estonia

SZCZECIN, Poland - 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 Chasseurs had served in the eFP Battlegroup, comprising soldiers of the British and French Armed Forces, since September 2021. During this time, they completed a number of 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 Ādaži, it brought together Allies from Estonia, Latvia, Canada, Poland, Norway, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, the Netherlands and the U.S.

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

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.

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Transfer of authority between French contingents in Tapa, Estonia on 15 December / Photo by État-major des armées 
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Transfer of authority between French contingents in Tapa, Estonia on 15 December / Photo by État-major des armées 

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office

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