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Feb 24 2022

NATO Allies reinforce enhanced Forward Presence

SZCZECIN, Poland – NATO has further increased its readiness and vigilance in response to Russia's military build-up and the following aggressive incursion of the Russian forces into Ukraine. Allies have adopted a robust and capable military posture, encompassing the reinforcement of NATO's enhanced Forward Presence's (eFP), to deter andif requireddefend against any threat to the Allied territory and populations.

The Battlegroup in Lithuania will be reinforced by 350 German personnel and approximately 100 pieces of heavy equipment. The first German reinforcements arrived in Rukla in mid-February. On 15 February, Norway announced the strengthening of its force contribution in the German-led eFP battalion with up to 60 soldiers with a core of one mechanized infantry unit.

It is important to demonstrate Allied unity with our contribution here. Norway has close contact with Allies and Partners in this demanding situation, Norway's Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt stated.
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German reinforcements en route to Rukla, Lithuania, 17 Feb. / Photo by eFP LTU  
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At the Kaunas airport, LTC Daniel Andrä, COM eFP Battlegroup Lithuania, welcomes the first German soldiers deployed to enhance NATO's deterrence in the region. 14 Feb. / Photo by eFP LTU
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Norway will deploy a mechanized infantry unit to bolster its contingent within eFP Battlegroup Lithuania / Photo by eFP LTU

In Estonia, the U.K. is doubling the number of personnel and sending additional equipment, including tanks and armoured fighting vehicles. The troops and equipment begun to move to Estonia on 17 February. The Royal Welsh Battlegroup, which includes armoured vehicles and personnel from the Royal Engineers, Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps and Royal Artillery, left Sennelager in Germany and bases in the UK, and embarked on Operation IRON SURGE. Part of Operation IRON SURGE has seen a convoy of Warrior infantry fighting vehicles and Challenger 2 main battle tanks. They were moved by Heavy Equipment Transports from 19 Tank Transporter Squadron, Royal Logistics Corps.

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Op IRON SURGE vehicle convoy leaving Sennelarger Germany, and heading to Estonia / Photo by British Army
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A Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank being transported to Estonia by Heavy Equipment Transporters / Photo by British Army

As announced by the Canadian government on 22 February, Canada will be sending additional military contributions to support NATO in the Baltic Sea region. These contributions, which fall under Operation REASSURANCE, will strengthen the Alliance's deterrence and defence efforts by increasing Canada's land, maritime and air capabilities in Europe. Specifically, Canada will provide up to an additional 460 personnel to the approximately 800 currently deployed in Europe. Within the eFP framework, these contributions will encompass a battery of M777 artillery guns with forward observers and an electronic warfare troop to bolster the Canadian-led Battlegroup in Ādaži.

On 11 February, the U.S. decided to deploy  3,000 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Europe. "This second tranche of airborne soldiers joined in Poland the first tranche of 1,700 soldiers and key enablers that the U.S. Secretary of Defence ordered there on 2 February," the Pentagon statement reads. Although not part of eFP, these troops will significantly increase the Allied land forces' capabilities in the region. On 10 February, while visiting Polish and U.S. military leadership at the Rzeszów Jasionka Airport, Poland, GEN Tod D. Wolters, Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander U.S. European Command, stated:   

The deployment of U.S. forces to Poland demonstrates our enduring commitment to NATO. Alongside our Polish Allies, we are here to enhance interoperability, strengthen military equilibrium, improve responsiveness and, if necessary, defend and secure the NATO Alliance.  
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These are the first U.S. soldiers to arrive in Europe following the Pentagon's announcement of additional forces moving from the United States to Europe in support of NATO Allies. The XVIII Airborne Corps, which serves as America's Contingency Corps, provided a Joint Task Force-capable headquarters in Germany, as 1,700 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division deployed to Poland / Photo by U.S. Army SPC Joshua Cowden

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office

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Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
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Poland