Estonian dog is homeward bound after rescue by British soldiers

A lost hound, missing for days and freezing in the wintry conditions of Estonia, was reunited with his owner this week after being discovered by troops deployed as part of the annual NATO Winter Camp in the Baltic country.

The animal, affectionally nicknamed 'Socks' by the service personnel who found him, was taken away from the exercise area and provided food, shelter, and water.

The British contingent of the 1,400-strong battlegroup then worked with local authorities in the Tapa region to find his owner, who was delighted to see his pet safe and well.

We are glad that his story has a happy ending Captain Styles

One of his rescuers, Captain Styles, said: "It was a privilege to find and locate Socks with my team today, returning him to safety and reuniting him with his owners.

"He'd clearly been out on the training area for a while, but we are glad that his story has a happy ending."

Temperatures in the Eastern European nation regularly drop well below zero, with heavy snow also adding to the formidable weather.

Elements of The Parachute Regiment and The Yorkshire Regiment, together with colleagues from a number of other cap badges, are currently deployed as part of the NATO Winter Camp, with The Royal Tank Regiment based in Estonia for longer as part of Operation Cabrit.

This operation is the British contribution to NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) across the Baltics and Poland, agreed upon during the 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw.

Lieutenant Colonel Nicolas, Deputy Commanding Officer of the eFP Estonia Battlegroup, said:

“After several joint exercises, Winter Camp is the culmination of the French Combat Team’s participation to the eFP mission in Estonia.

“It is a real opportunity for our soldiers to perfect their tactical skills in a demanding winter environment, as well as to strengthen their interoperability work with our NATO allies.”

Around 900 British soldiers work alongside allies from Belgium, Denmark, and France in Estonia, as well as host nation forces.

In Poland, approximately 150 troops fall under the command of an American regiment.