British troops deployed to Estonia to ‘deter Russia’ with HUGE war game

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
By Paul Martin

HUNDREDS of British soldiers have been deployed to Estonia to take part in ultra-realistic war games and offer military deterrence against Russia.

By JOEY MILLAR
Express.co.uk
Tue, Feb 13, 2018

More than 800 UK personnel are currently stationed in the Baltic state as part of a Nato group alongside Danish, Canadian and Estonian forces.

The deployment of troops is a bid to deter Russian aggression and prove Nato is a “very capable force” ready to deal with a raft of threats, a senior UK officer has said.

The British Army is providing the bulk of the numbers through the armoured infantry task force of the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh.

Senior Major of The Royal Welsh, Darren Hughes, said his troops are aware of why they are in Estonia.

Asked whether the threat from Russia is a credible one, the 43-year-old from Rhyl, North Wales, said: “In as much as is Russia a potent military force? Absolutely.

“They are a very professional organisation. Are they a threat to us day to day? No, they are not.

“We are showing the fact that should situations worsen, then an armoured infantry battlegroup is a very credible fighting force.

“We are here to show to any potential aggressor that as a force, Nato is very capable and is prepared to deal with a whole raft of threats.”

The troops have taken part in a huge military drill over the past nine days.

Undertaking a series of attack and defence manoeuvres against their Estonian allies, troops simulated conflict as they fired blanks at each other inside a military training zone just north-west of their camp in the town of Tapa.

Lieutenant Anthony Strain, from St Albans, Hertfordshire, said such exercises are “incredibly important”.

He said: ”The reason we all join the Army is to run around in a forest and play soldiers rather than stay indoors – it is great to have an opportunity to do that.

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