More than 1,500 British troops are set to train alongside thousands of personnel from NATO-ally countries as part of a major exercise in Estonia.
Exercise Spring Storm is the largest annual military exercise involving 14,000 personnel from 11 NATO countries.
This year, the exercise has even more prominence due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, posing a potential threat to NATO.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Hundreds of UK troops from across our Armed Forces will again train with personnel from 11 NATO nations, demonstrating the strength of our interoperability with partner nations and our combined commitment to the NATO Alliance.
“While the Russian Army continues their illegal invasion of Ukraine threatening stability in Europe, the UK and our allies will continue to support Ukraine and defend our shared values and freedom.”
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The number of British personnel involved increased this year, after the UK committed to increase the size of its Forward Presence (eFP) battlegroup – which is comprised of both UK and French forces – to a brigade-sized deployment.
The eFP provides a continuous NATO presence, with deployed troops acting as a deterrence against any aggression towards the alliance’s borders.
Recent actions carried out as part of the UK-led eFP include air intercepts of Russian aircraft by RAF fighter jets.
Spread across varied Estonian terrain, units will be tested on realistic battlefield scenarios including trench assaults, light infantry tactics, armoured vehicle manoeuvres and reconnaissance missions.
The RAF will also carry out air training exercises and the Royal Marines Commandos will carry out a beach assault exercise to test the UK’s maritime strike capability.