UK troops test rapid reinforcement of NATO battlegroup in Estonia
Dozens of British Royal Marines landed on a beach north of Tallinn on Friday night (19 May 2023) testing the Allies ability to rapidly deploy reinforcements to NATO forces in Estonia. The Royal Marines contingent is part of a 900-strong British force deployed to Estonia especially for exercise “Spring Storm 2023”.
Spring Storm is the largest annual military exercise in Estonia, involving around 14,000 personnel from 11 NATO Allies and partners, including Estonia, Canada, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, howitzers, as well as fighter aircraft, helicopters and patrol, minesweeping and landing vessels take part in the drills.
At the 2022 NATO Summit, Allies committed to the deployment of additional robust, combat-ready forces on NATO's eastern flank. The goal is to scale up from the existing battlegroups to brigade-size units, when and where necessary. This commitment is backed by rapidly available reinforcements, prepositioned equipment, and an enhanced command and control system.
Also in May, exercise “Griffin Shock” successfully tested rapidly moving US forces across borders and reinforcing the NATO battlegroup in Poland from a battalion to a brigade.