A contingent of the Belgian Armed Forces joined the British-led NATO battle group in Tapa. The Belgians are replacing a Danish contingent and will remain in Estonia for the next four months.
Three convoys of vehicles, troops and materiel moved from Latvia to Estonia on Thursday, altogether some 100 vehicles, ERR’s online news reported (see gallery).
The core of the Belgian contingent is made up of soldiers of the Chasseurs Ardennais battalion. Altogether some 300 troops are joining the battle group in Tapa. They will participate in various training exercises. The Belgians are also planning to join this year’s Spring Storm exercise.
Belgium and Estonia have long-standing ties in defence cooperation. Since 1998, the Estonian Navy has been training its officers at the Belgian-Netherlands Naval Mine Warfare School (EGUERMIN). Belgium was the first NATO member to have its air force contribute to the Baltic air policing mission in 2004. Since 2014 Belgian troops have also participated in the Estonian Defence Forces’ annual Spring Storm exercise. Belgium also joined the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCDCOE) in Tallinn in 2016.