NATO battlegroup wraps up 1000 km cycle tour across Estonia
Personnel from NATO’s enhanced forward presence battlegroup in Estonia recently wrapped up a 1,000 km cycle tour across the country. The tour, called “NATO Velo”, began on 17 June in Tallinn with around 50 NATO soldiers and officers from 10 Allied nations.
Over seven days, the cyclists rode from Talinn to Rakvere, on to Tartu, Vilijandi, Pärnu, Haapsalu and Paide, in central Estonia. In Pärnu and Paide, the cyclists hosted "meet the soldiers" events, where members of the public had the opportunity to meet NATO personnel, see their equipment and learn more about NATO and its enhanced forward presence in the eastern part of the Alliance. Following Victory Day events, the cyclists wrapped up the last leg of their tour – from Paide to Talinn – on 23 June.
"NATO´s primary task here in Estonia and the other Baltic states and Poland is of course to contribute to the collective defense of these countries, as well as to deter any adversaries," said Colonel Dai Bevan, Commander of the NATO battlegroup in Estonia. "But it is also very important that we strive to engage in a positive way with the Estonian people, to promote our messages and earn the welcome and the support that we enjoy here," he added.
NATO deployed four multinational battlegroups to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in 2017. These battlegroups, led by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the United States respectively, are multinational, and combat-ready. Their presence makes clear that an attack on one Ally will be considered an attack on the whole Alliance. NATO’s battlegroups form part of the biggest reinforcement of the Alliance‘s collective defence in a generation.