The Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) Battlegroup (BG) has been preparing for a deployment to Estonia at the British Army’s Sennelager Training Centre in northern Germany.
Seven hundred and fifty soldiers are involved in the Operation Cabrit rehearsals ahead of the next British-led NATO Battlegroup to go to Estonia in September.
The BG comprises of RTR’s Dreadnought Squadron, equipped with Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank, C Company of the Royal Welsh, equipped with Warrior armoured infantry fighting vehicles in addition to elements of the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Royal Army Medical Corps and the Royal Logistic Corps.
The demanding exercises were an arduous mix of simulation, live-firing (day and night) and field training exercises involving armour, infantry, artillery, engineers and a whole range of supporting capabilities fixed together to develop the level of competencies, capabilities and integration.
Brigadier Paddy Ginn, Commander 20 Armoured Infantry Brigade - The Iron Fist - said: “My Brigade is also the Force Generation HQ for Op CABRIT deployments. The British contribution to Op Cabrit has just got better and better as time has gone on. We are now on the seventh rotation and preparing the eighth protection package. The ‘beauty’ of this exercise is that we have the ability to stop, reset, go again. That’s what training in combined arms manoeuvre warfare gives you. That’s when the real mastery will come.”
That’s what training in combined arms manoeuvre gives you Brigadier Paddy Ginn
Lieutenant Colonel Simon Worth, Commanding Officer RTR said: “The real value of Sennelager is that it closely reflects the operating environment that we would expect to operate on in Estonia and therefore, for us, it provides an excellent kind of dry run rehearsal that will take us to where we need to be.",
Sgt Richard ‘Jonno’ Johnson: “Training has been demanding but we are looking after each other, keeping up morale. Everybody understands what is expected of them and looking forward to the deployment.”
Fusilier William Stone R WELSH joined the Army seven months ago and experienced his first major exercise: “It’s great to get the experience of working together with other bits of the Army, seeing it all come together. I am looking forward to my first deployment later in the year. “
The 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw set the conditions for the establishment of an enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to strengthen Euro-Atlantic security.
Operation Cabrit is the name of the UK operational deployment to Estonia where British troops are leading a multinational battlegroup as part of the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP).
UK Armed Forces have a leading role in NATO’s eFP in the Baltic States, in order to enhance Euro-Atlantic security, reassure our Allies and deter our adversaries.
The eFP in the Baltic States is a deployment of robust, multinational, combat-ready forces to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, on a persistent, rotational basis.
British personnel rotate on a continuous basis alongside Danish, French, and host nation Estonian forces.