NATO Enhanced Forward Presence

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Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) is a NATO-allied forward deployed defense and deterrence military posture in Eastern and Northern Europe to protect and reassure NATO's Eastern European member states of their security. Following Russia's invasion and occupation of Crimea and its War in Donbass, NATO member states agreed at the 2016 Warsaw summit to forward deploy four multinational battalion battle groups to NATO members most at risk of a possible Russian attack or invasion.

Overview[edit]

The four multinational battalion battle groups are based in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, and led by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and the United States:[1]

Country Location Lead nation Current participants
Estonia Tapa United Kingdom France, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland
Latvia Ādaži Canada Albania, Czech Republic, Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain
Lithuania Rukla Germany Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Iceland, the Netherlands, and Norway
Poland Orzysz United States Croatia, Romania and the United Kingdom

The troops serving in the multinational battalion battle groups will rotate every six months and train and operate with their host nations' militaries.

Estonia multinational battalion battle group[edit]

The United Kingdom will deploy 800 personnel from the British Army's 5th Battalion, The Rifles with Warrior infantry fighting vehicles and the Queen's Royal Hussars with Challenger 2 main battle tanks, both part of the 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade. Artillery, an armoured engineer squadron, logistics specialists and reconnaissance assets will be attached to the British contingent.[2][3] The British unit will be supported by a mixed battle group from the French Army's 9th Light Armoured Marine Brigade consisting of an mechanized infantry company from the 2nd Marine Infantry Regiment equipped with VBCI infantry fighting vehicles, artillery from the 11th Marine Artillery Regiment equipped with CAESAR self-propelled howitzers, and combat engineers from the 6th Engineer Regiment, with a company of Leclerc main battle tanks from the 7th Armoured Brigade's 1st Chasseurs Regiment attached for the deployment. Additionally the Danish Army will deploy a mechanized force by 2018 at the latest.[4]

The British Army's 5th Battalion, The Rifles battlegroup, will rotate back to the United Kingdom in November 2017 and be replaced by a battlegroup formed around the 1st Battalion, Royal Welsh.[5]

The Belgian Army contributes a 269-soldier strong Belgian Land Component armoured infantry company from the Chasseurs Ardennais with support elements and HQ staff officers.[6]

3 brigade HQ support personnel from the Royal Danish Army and 1 strategic communications civilian from the Icelandic defence forces have also been stationed in Estonia.[7]

Latvia multinational battalion battle group[edit]

Italian Army 4th Tank Regiment Ariete main battle tank and a Canadian Army and LAV III on patrol

Canada provides the core of the NATO battle group in Latvia with around 450 mechanized infantry and supporting troops. This contingent is provided by Canada's high readiness brigade, a task that rotates annually amongst the three Regular Force brigades of the country. In 2017, it was provided by the 1st Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Western Canada which handed over to the 2nd mechanized brigade in Eastern Canada in 2018, which provided the 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, based in CFB Gagetown which rotated in to relieve the 1st Battalion, PPCLI.[8]. In June 2018, the 2nd Battalion was replaced by 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, based out of Petawawa Ontario. In January 2019, Canada's French-speaking mechanized brigade from Quebec, (the 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group), took on the task. The commanding officer, LCol Sauvé, and most of the soldiers are, in 2019, from the 2nd battalion of the Royal 22e Régiment (2R22eR) or the armoured 12e Régiment Blindé du Canada (12e RBC). [9]. In accordancs with this rotation cycle, they will be replaced in July 2019 by the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry from the 1st mechanized brigade.

Spain will dispatch a reinforced armored infantry company consisting of around 350 troops from the 11th Mechanized Infantry Brigade "Extremadura". The Spanish contingent will include six Leopard 2E main battle tanks from the I/16th Tank Battalion "Mérida" of the 16th Armored Regiment "Castilla" and 15 Pizarro infantry fighting vehicles from the I/6th Mechanized Infantry Battalion "Cantabria" of the 6th Infantry Regiment "Saboya".[10]

Italy will provide an Italian Army mechanized Infantry company with Freccia and Dardo infantry fighting vehicles. Recently the Italian Army has reinforced its presence with eight Ariete main battle tanks.

Poland an armored company with PT-91 Twardy main battle tanks.

Slovenia will deploy a Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Defense platoon of the Slovenian Armed Forces, while Albania will send a small detachment from the Albanian Land Force.

Slovakia will deploy an armored infantry company consisting of 150 troops from 11th Mechanized Battalion starting in second half of 2018. The Slovak force contribution consists of a Mechanised Company on BMP2, Command and Control Element, Military Police team, Repairs and Operation Platoon as a support element and a team of medics.

The Czech Republic provides a mortar platoon of 55 soldiers.[11]

Albania provides 21 EOD engineer and Montenegro provides a reconnaissance squad.[7]

Lithuania multinational battalion battle group[edit]

The Lithuania multinational battalion battle group will be assigned to the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf of the Lithuanian Army and based in Rukla.

The first German Army unit to deploy to Lithuania is the 122nd Mechanized Battalion of the 12th Armoured Brigade [de] of the 10th Panzer Division. Equipped with Marder infantry fighting vehicles the battalion will be augmented with Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks from the 104th Tank Battalion, PzH 2000 self-propelled artillery from the 131st Artillery Battalion engineers from the 4th Armored Engineer Battalion and troops from the 4th Supply Battalion.

Additionally, the Royal Netherlands Army deploys a mechanized infantry company with CV9035NL infantry fighting vehicles from the 43rd Mechanized Brigade's 44th Armoured Infantry Battalion Johan Willem Friso.

The Norwegian Army deploys a mixed armoured company from the Armoured Battalion equipped with CV9030 infantry fighting vehicles and Leopard 2A4NO main battle tanks.

The Belgian Army deploys a logistic support company, which arrived in Lithuania on 24 January 2017. The 100 men from the 18th Logistics Battalion and 29th Logistics Battalion of the Belgian Land Component with medical and military police units attached arrived by ferry in Klaipėda and contain a small detachments of troops from the Luxembourg Army.[12]

Croatia has pledged to deploy troops from the Croatian Army to Lithuania by 2018 at the latest.

Since March 2018, Iceland deploys one civilian expert to the battlegroup.

The Czech Republic provides a mechanized company of 230 soldiers.[11]

Battle Group Poland[edit]

The Poland-based multinational battalion Battle Group, known as Battle Group Poland (BGPOL),[13] is currently led by the United States Army's 3rd ("Pacesetter") Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment headquartered in Danville, PA. The Battle Group consists of a US combined-arms battalion, a Sabre Squadron from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, a Croatian rocket artillery battery, and an ADA company from the Romanian Army.

The Battle Group is attached to the Polish Army's 15th Mechanized Brigade and based in Orzysz located near the Suwalki Gap.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_136388.htm NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Website
  2. ^ Soldier Magazine. Aldershot Garrison, Hampshire, England: Ministry of Defence. August 2016. p. 14.
  3. ^ "Survival Kit and Outdoor Military Equipment - Survival Aids". www.survivalaids.com.
  4. ^ "British troops to defend Baltics against Russia in new Nato mission". The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Royal Welsh Regiment to be base unit of British contingent in Estonia from November". Latvian Information Agency. 19 July 2017. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Belgian troops joined the NATO enhanced forward presence battle group at Tapa - Kaitsevägi". www.mil.ee. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  7. ^ a b "NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence" (PDF). nato.int. 2019-02-13. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  8. ^ Defence, National; Defence, National (13 January 2018). "Canadian Armed Forces Members deploy to continue deterrence mission in Latvia". gcnws.
  9. ^ "http://www.45enord.ca/2019/01/premier-depart-troupes-valcartier-deployees-lettonie/". External link in |title= (help) Date 3 jan 2019
  10. ^ "España desplegará por primera vez los tanques Leopard en una misión exterior". ABC España. 12 February 2017. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  11. ^ a b "České jednotky zamíří do Pobaltí. S minomety a obrněnci Pandur". iDNES.cz (in Czech). 11 June 2018. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  12. ^ https://www.bundeswehr.de/portal/a/bwde/start/aktuelles/aus_der_truppe/!ut/p/z1/ German Army eFP site (and) http://kam.lt/en/news_1098/current_issues/first_troops_of_the_nato_enhanced_forward_presence_battalion_come_to_lithuania_from_belgium.html?pbck=0 Lithuaian Army Press Release
  13. ^ Dorschner, James (September 21, 2017). "Ramping up: U.S. Army Europe building forces and capability". Jane's Defence Weekly.

External links[edit]