President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Eiki Nestor, Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu Hannes Hanso and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson attended the ceremony marking the start of the service of the NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence battalion battle group in Tapa Army Base. In their opinion, the allies increase the defence capability of Estonia.
President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor said that the purpose of the allied troops in Tapa was that no country would ever have the wish to attack Estonia.
Chairman of the National Defence Committee Hannes Hanso added that the presence of British and French troops at Tapa also influenced the members of the Estonian Defence Forces, whose time in field camp was extended. At the moment, active construction work is going on in Tapa Army Base, so that the Estonian Defence Forces and their allies would be ensured all conveniences.
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson said that our Defence Forces had much to learn from our allies. But in his opinion, their coming to Estonia does not mean that our security picture today is considerably worse than years ago.
Today, President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor, Chairman of the National Defence Committee Hannes Hanso and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson, and members of both committees participated in the ceremony marking the start of the service of the NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence battalion battle group in Estonia at Tapa Army Base. The Ministers of Defence of Estonia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, France and Denmark signed a political declaration. President of the Republic Kersti Kaljulaid also attended the ceremony.
1200-strong NATO battalion battle group arrived in Tapa this spring. The UK is contributing more than 800 troops to this battle group, armed with the Challenger 2 tanks, infantry fighting vehicles Warrior, and self-propelled howitzers AS90. France is contributing 300 troops armed with the Leclerc tanks, infantry fighting vehicles VBCI, and armoured vehicles VAB. The French troops will serve in Tapa for eight months, after that they will be rotated by the Danish unit.
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