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UK to increase military contribution in Estonia

Today, 8 November 2022 in London, Minister of Defence of Estonia Hanno Pevkur and UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace signed an agreement that sets out the activities of Estonia and the United Kingdom in the coming year to implement decisions taken at the NATO Summit in Madrid.

“We reached agreement on the significantly increased contribution of the UK to Estonia’s security in the coming year. In January, Chinook helicopters will arrive in Estonia, in March Apache helicopters, in April Typhoon fighters, and in May an additional battlegroup will be deployed to Estonia for the large-scale exercise Spring Storm. During the year, the UK will also contribute to increasing security on the Baltic Sea and the UK will hold a brigade sized force at high readiness in the UK. In terms of planning, it will be calculated into the Estonian division structure, and it will be ready to reinforce Estonia immediately in case of need. In addition, the UK will maintain the multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), brought to Estonia in summer 2022 to reinforce the allied battlegroup, and the short range air defence systems Stormer,” commented Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur on the reached agreement.

“The UK’s commitment to Estonia and European defence and security is unwavering. The deployment of assets such as Apache and Chinook helicopters to exercise in Estonia is a clear example of the strength of our relationship, and the importance we place on our ability to effectively operate side by side,” said UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

“The roadmap we signed today is a firm step forward in fulfilling the commitments taken in Madrid. It will be a guide for us in moving towards more specific task assignment. For example, UK will activate a Forward HQ led by a Brigadier in Estonia during Spring 2023, which will be developed from the existing eFP Command and which will coordinate the activities, training, surges of UK land forces in the region and support the development of the Estonian Division,” added minister Pevkur.

The Estonian contribution to strengthening defence cooperation will be in the form of developing the Estonian division, which in the future will command within the NATO chain of command the most important operations in Estonia, the permanent Allied presence in Estonia, and the Allied reinforcement units. In addition, Estonia will improve Host Nation Support capabilities by building additional accommodation at the Tapa Camp by May 2023. In the south of Estonia, a new Reception Staging Onward Movement (RSOM) area will be completed in 2023 and work will commence for the development of the necessary infrastructure for receiving Allied forces.

More details in the Joint Statement: Joint Statement (8.11.2022) (370.89 KB, PDF)

Source: Estonian Ministry of Defence