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Brigadier General Indrek Sirel discussed the arrival of allied units in Turkey

The Deputy Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, Brigadier General Indrek Sirel, took part this week in a meeting organised by NATO Allied Land Command, in Turkey, in order to discuss questions related to the arrival of the NATO combat group and its presence in Estonia.

“The meeting gave us an excellent opportunity to hone topics related to the NATO combat group,” said Deputy Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Brigadier General Indrek Sirel, according to whom the arrival in Estonia of British and French servicemen and the transferring of their equipment is going according to plan.  “The integration of a multinational combat group will take a little bit of time, but their arrival definitely strengthens our defence capability as well as the interoperability of the alliance as a whole.”

Representatives from 14 countries participated in the NATO meeting, including the countries contributing to the NATO combat groups and the countries hosting them, with servicemen from NATO Force Integration Units (NFIU) also taking part in the meeting.

Last June, at the Warsaw Summit, the leaders of NATO’s 28 member countries decided, as a result of the changed security situation, to station alliance combat groups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

The United Kingdom is the lead country for the allied battle group being sent to Estonia, with France and Denmark also contributing.  A total of 1200 Allied soldiers will be arriving in Estonia as part of the combat group. The United Kingdom is contributing more than 800 servicemen, who will be equipped with Challenger 2 tanks, Warrior infantry fighting vehicles, and AS90 self-propelled guns. France is contributing a unit with 300 servicemen to the combat group, which will be armed with Leclerc tanks, VBCI infantry fighting vehicles and VAB armoured vehicles. The French will be serving at Tapa for the next eight months, after which they will hand over responsibility to the Danes.

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