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Jun 29 2022

More British troops arrive in Estonia to strengthen security of Baltic Allies

SZCZECIN, Poland - On 20 June, the 2 Rifles Battlegroup arrived in Estonia to bolster defence forces in the country. They have replaced the Royal Tank Regiment Battlegroup as the Agile Task Force and will remain in Estonia for a six-month tour of duty.

Personnel of the 2 Rifles Battlegroup arrive at Tallinn International Airport / Photo by British Army

The 2 Rifles Battlegroup is a light infantry comprising three infantry companies, a fire support company and attached artillery, engineering, logistic and medical support elements. Light role infantry units provide a highly agile combat force able to operate on all terrains, offering reconnaissance, sniper and anti-tank capabilities.

The Battlegroup will be fully integrated within the 2nd Estonian Infantry Brigade and will conduct training across the Baltic nations, Poland and Finland over the next six months. Training will prioritise integration, agility and high readiness.

The new Battlegroup replaces the outgoing Royal Tank Regiment Battlegroup which leaves Estonia following completion of nine months on the eastern flank supporting the NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP). They were extended in February 2022 when the British Prime Minister announced that the UK would double its presence in Estonia by deploying a second battlegroup.

The 2 Rifles Battlegroup Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel William Wells commented:

We feel privileged to have been chosen to deploy to Estonia as part of the UK's contribution to eastern Europe.

Colonel Dai Bevan, the commander of the British forces deployed in the Baltic region, i.e. in Estonia and Poland, added: "The arrival of 2 Rifles Battlegroup in Estonia is a further demonstration of the UK's support to NATO and the security of Europe. We are pleased to add to our force, a highly-trained and agile taskforce, who have a hard-won reputation for professional soldiering and excellence in close combat."

The Battlegroup will take up the role of the Agile Task Force from the Royal Tank Regiment Battlegroup / Photo by British Army
A Voyager Transport aircraft of the Royal Air Force at Tallinn International Airport, 21 June 2022; the aircraft had flown from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, with personnel from the 2 RIFLES Battlegroup / Photo by British Army

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office

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