NATO Enhanced Forward Presence

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NATO Enhanced Forward Presence 2017:
  Participating NATO members (also United States and Canada)
  Non-participating NATO members
  Russia

NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence is an allied, forward deployed defense and deterrence posture in Eastern Europe to protect and reassure NATO's Eastern member states of their security. Following Russia's annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine, 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.

Overview

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]

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

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.[3][4] 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.[5]

The British Army's 5th Battalion, The Rifles battlegroup, will rotate back to Britain in November 2017 and be replaced by a battlegroup formed around the 1st Battalion, Royal Welsh.[6]

Latvia multinational battalion battle group

Canada provides the core of the NATO battle group in Latvia with around 450 mechanized infantry troops from the Canadian Army's 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regiment and attached combat engineer element.[7] A battery of M777 howitzers from 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery will be deployed in direct support to the battle group.[8] 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".[9] Italy will provide an Italian Army mechanized Infantry company with Freccia infantry fighting vehicles and Poland an armored company with Leopard 2A5 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.

Lithuania multinational battalion battle group

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, combat 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 and the Norwegian Army a mixed armoured company from the Telemark 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.[10] [11] Croatia has pledged to deploy troops from the Croatian Army to Lithuania by 2018 at the latest.

Battle Group Poland

The Poland-based multinational battalion Battle Group, known as Battle Group Poland (BGPOL),[12] will be lead by the United States Army's 3rd ("Wolfpack") Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment stationed in Vilseck, Germany. The Battle Group will consist of 800 U.S. soldiers equipped with Stryker Dragoon vehicles, 150 soldiers from the British Army's Light Dragoons Reconnaissance Regiment and 150 soldiers from the Romanian Army with Air Defense artillery pieces.

The Battle Group will be part of the Polish Army's 15th Mechanized Brigade and based in Orzysz located near the Suwalki Gap which transcends the land area between Northeastern Poland, Belarus, Lithuania and Kaliningrad, Russia.

On 25 July 2017, first commander of Battle Group Poland, U.S. Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Scott Cheney, was succeeded as battle group commander and CO of 2nd / 2nd Cavalry by Lt Col Christopher L'Heureux.[13] The change of command took place at Bemowo Piskie.

References

  1. ^ http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_136388.htm NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Website
  2. ^ Hrvatska ove godine u Poljsku šalje višecijevne bacače raketa, iduće godine u Litvu osam borbenih oklopnih vozila i 120 pripadnika Tigrova Jutarnji list, 15 February 2017.
  3. ^ Soldier Magazine. Aldershot Garrison, Hampshire, England: Ministry of Defence. August 2016. p. 14. 
  4. ^ http://www.combatandsurvival.com/world-news/8355-5-rifles-lead-enhanced-forward-presence-battlegroup
  5. ^ "British troops to defend Baltics against Russia in new Nato mission". The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "Royal Welsh Regiment to be base unit of British contingent in Estonia from November". Latvian Information Agency. 19 July 2017. Retrieved 21 July 2017. 
  7. ^ Berthiaume, Lee (14 February 2017). "Canada Troops prepare to leave for Ukraine amid uncertainty over mission's future". Winnipeg Free Press. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 
  8. ^ http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/canadian-army-m777-artillery-guns-being-sent-to-latvia
  9. ^ "España desplegará por primera vez los tanques Leopard en una misión exterior". ABC España. 12 February 2017. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 
  10. ^ https://www.bundeswehr.de/portal/a/bwde/start/aktuelles/aus_der_truppe/!ut/p/z1/ German Army eFP site
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ Dorschner, James (September 21, 2017). "Ramping up: U.S. Army Europe building forces and capability". Jane's Defence Weekly. 
  13. ^ "New NATO battle group commander". en.mon.gov.pl. Retrieved 2017-11-15. 

External links

  • NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence nato.int, May 2017
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