Today at the Tapa military base in Estonia, Permanent Secretary Kusti Salm awarded mission medals to French officers and troops serving within the UK-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battlegroup since June this year.
The medal ceremony marks the end of five months of deployment in Estonia for the 7th Alpine Rangers battalion of the French Army. The new 13th Alpine Rangers battalion will arrive in Tapa at the beginning of November. The 13th Alpine Rangers battalion is a light infantry unit that is specialised in preparatory work in cold weather. They are equipped with armoured vehicles that also provide tactical support for British and Danish tanks.
“The successful continuation of the eFP mission is key to preserving peace in the Baltic Sea region and in entire Europe. The lessons learned in Estonia build up the strength of the entire alliance. The readiness and responsiveness you have demonstrated during your rotation has been exemplary,” said Permanent Secretary Salm in his speech at the ceremony.
“The only way to prevent a Ukrainian scenario in Estonia is to make it unmistakably evident that any aggression against NATO would be a dead-end attempt with no chance of success. It is an urgent task,“ added Salm.
“Alongside our British and Danish comrades of the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup (eFP BG) Estonia, you have contributed to the strategic solidarity with our allies, in support of the Estonian forces”, Lieutenant-colonel Jean-Bernard Lefèvre, French Senior National Representative Estonia.
Since 2021 units of the French Army have deployed five consecutive rotations to the NATO battlegroup at the Tapa military base.
The lead nations of the NATO battlegroups in the Baltic States are the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the United States of America. The battlegroups were formed in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in 2017.
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