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Mar 22 2023

The Queen's Royal Hussars take command of NATO eFP Battlegroup Estonia supported by the French Foreign Legion

SZCZECIN, Poland - On March 19, the Tapa Military Base, Estonia, saw the transfer of authority ceremony from Britain's own The King's Royal Hussars to The Queen's Royal Hussars (QRH) who took the helm of NATO's enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup Estonia. They will serve alongside the 13th Infantry Regiment with the French Foreign Legion, representing the Battlegroup's contributing nation.

The QRH is the most senior armoured regiment in the British Army. Its personnel operate the Challenger 2 main battle tanks, providing armoured strength on the battlefield.

We are proud to be leading the NATO Battlegroup in Estonia and welcome the opportunity to integrate and train with our Estonian and French colleagues,

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Wilson, the Commanding Officer of the QRH and the Battlegroup, said. "Whilst we are a tank regiment, the Battlegroup will be a combination of heavy armour, motorised infantry, mechanised infantry, anti-tank troops, artillery and engineer assets." Altogether, the British contingent in Estonia provides:

 a reconnaisance squadron equipped with Warrior Armoured Fighting vehicles,

 a heavy armour Squadron equipped with Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks,

 a company of mechanised infantry from the 3rd Battalion, The Rifles equipped with the Mastiff Armoured Personnel Carrier,

 a battery from 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery equipped with the AS90 155mm howitzer, 

 an armoured Squadron from 22 Engineer Regiment equipped with Bulldog Armoured Fighting Vehicles.

Commanding Officer The Queen’s Royal Hussars Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Wilson (left) and Commanding Officer The King’s Royal Hussars Lieutenant Colonel Peter Perowne during the transfer of authority ceremony in Tapa, Estonia, March 19 © NATO eFP Battlegroup Estonia
The QRH's deployment to Estonia was preceded by the month-long Mission Ready Exercise Tallinn Dawn (Jan./Feb. 2023) © The British Army 

Aside from the British troops, the Battlegroup welcomed a new French contingent, now formed by the 13th Infantry Regiment (Demi-Brigade) of the Foreign Legion. It is reinforced by a squad of AMX 10-RC wheeled armoured vehicles, and platoons of engineers and artillery. For this rotation, the French Army deployed their leading-edge 6x6 wheeled armoured vehicles 'Griffon'. The Commander of the French contingent, Major Jean-Christophe said:

The new Griffon armoured vehicle with its on-board systems is among the most innovative and modern equipment operated by the French Army. Utilising these new assets, we will increase our interoperability with Allied forces in Estonia.

With that, the Battlegroup now consists of a total of more than one thousand soldiers from France and the framework nation Great Britain, supported by personnel from Denmark and Iceland. "This means that NATO troops of various capabilities are able to train and adapt to the terrain in Estonia and we can join the thousands of British, French and Danish soldiers who have learned how to operate on NATO’s Eastern flank," Lieutenant Colonel Wilson, the Battlegroup Commander, summarised.

The French Army 6x6 wheeled armoured vehicles 'Griffon' arrive in Estonia © The French Armed Forces

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office based on release by Thorir Gudmundsson, NATO eFP Battlegroup Estonia 

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Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
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