Some 1,500 British troops are currently exercising in support of NATO allies in Europe.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, has visited some of the personnel spread across five countries in Europe, joining NATO allies in a sign of solidarity against any potential threat.
Visiting troops in Romania, Sir Michael met personnel of the UK’s 20th Armoured Brigade who are acting as part of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force Land component, which the UK took the lead of in January this year. Working alongside 14 partner nations, the 500-strong force have been deployed on Exercise Noble Jump designed test NATO’s speed of response to crisis.
Elsewhere in Europe, a company of 45 Commando of the Royal Marines joined the US-led Sabre Strike exercise in Latvia and Lithuania, working alongside Norwegian and Polish forces. Troops from the Light Dragoons and amphibious engineers from 75 Engineer Regiment also joined the exercise in Poland while the Enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup 5 Rifles exercised in Estonia.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “The UK is playing a leading role in the NATO alliance and with around 1,500 British personnel exercising in Europe this week, nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in this region. We are standing side by side with our allies in the East, a sign of our unwavering commitment to European security.”
Sir Michael also took the chance to visit Royal Air Force personnel deployed to Romania as part of the NATO Southern Air Policing mission.
The detachment of four Typhoon fighter jets from 3 Fighter Squadron has been based in Mihail Kogalniceanu Airbase in south east Romania since May. Deployed for up to four months, they are working alongside the Romanian Air Force to police the skies over the Black Sea.
Secretary of State for Defence Sir Michael Fallon added: “The UK is stepping up in its support for NATO’s collective defence from the north to the south of the alliance. Through this deployment, RAF planes will be ready to secure NATO airspace and provide reassurance to allies in the Black Sea region.”
Images: © Crown Copyright
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