In an act unprecedented since the end of the Cold War, the US-led NATO military alliance has been deploying a massive array of weaponry along the Russian border. Scores of tanks, self-propelled artillery guns and other military hardware have been moved to Estonia from the Britain and Germany. NATO has justified the aggressive show-of-force as a response to hypothetical "Russian aggression."
NATO Sends Unprecedented Weaponry to Estonia AlWaght News & Analysis
(March 23, 2017) -- US-led NATO military alliance has deployed massive weaponry in Estonia, unprecedented since the end of the Cold War.
Scores of tanks, self-propelled artillery guns and other military hardware have started to arrive in Estonia from the Britain and Germany. The deployment has been termed by Britain's defense minister as the largest deployment in Eastern Europe since the Cold War.
The first of hundreds of UK military vehicles have arrived in Estonia on Wednesday, delivered by a ferry from ports in Britain and Germany, the UK Ministry of Defense reported.
The heavy military equipment -- Challenger 2 tanks, Terrier, Titan and Trojan armored battlefield engineer vehicles as well as Warrior infantry fighting vehicles -- will be moved from an Estonian port to a military base in Tapa, the ministry statement said.
"This is the start of one of the biggest deployment in Eastern Europe since the Cold War," UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said, adding that by the end of April there will be "800 British troops, with armor, with tanks" in Estonia, close to Russia's borders.
NATO has justified the arrival of the vehicles, which follow a deployment of over a hundred British military personnel to Estonia, by boosting security in the region against hypothetical "Russian aggression."
This comes after NATO announced on Monday that it is sending troops and tanks near the Russian border in Poland to deter what is said to be possible Russian "aggression."
The NATO battle group to be stationed in Orzysz, 220 kilometers northeast of the capital, Warsaw, will include more than 900 American troops, around 150 British personnel and some 120 Romanian servicemen.
"This is a mission, not a cycle of training events. The purpose is to deter aggression in the Baltics and in Poland," US Army Lt. Col. Steven Gventer, the battle group's commander, said.
The buildup is part of a large NATO mission to deploy four multinational battalions in the Baltics, agreed by the military alliance last year. Moscow has repeatedly criticized the move, saying NATO's eastward expansion on the Russian border with the expected 4,000 troops plus tanks, armored vehicles, air support and high-tech intelligence centers in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland will only undermine the security balance on the continent.
US tanks and military hardwire arrive in Estonia. February 6, 2017 British Tanks Join NATO
Battle Group in Estonia Defense News
(March 19, 2017) -- British army equipment including tanks and self-propelled guns on Wednesday arrived by boat in Estonia, part of a NATO move to reinforce its eastern flank to deter a militarily resurgent Russia, according to Estonia's defence forces.
The 130 units of equipment arrived at the Paldiski seaport in northern Estonia but will be transferred to the town of Tapa to join the 200 British troops and 50 French soldiers already there.
By mid-April more than 800 British troops and nearly 300 French troops will be stationed in Estonia. A Danish contingent will replace the French later this year.
NATO decided at a July 2016 summit to deploy its troops to the Baltic states and Poland as a tripwire against Russian adventurism in states formerly under Moscow's control.
Apart from the British-led battalion in Estonia, Canada will lead a multinational battalion in Latvia, Germany in Lithuania and the US in Poland.
Tensions between Russia and the West have escalated over the past two years, triggered by Russia's actions in Ukraine and its military campaign in Syria since late 2015.
Military Tanks & Trucks in Poland in large numbers. January 18, 2017
US Tanks, Infantry Fighting Vehicles Arrive
In Estonia Amid NATO Buildup on Russian Borders RT News
(February 6, 2017) -- US military hardware, including M1A2 Abrams battle tanks and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, have arrived in the northern Estonian town of Tapa as part of continued US efforts to counter the alleged Russian threat.
More than 50 units of US military equipment, including four battle tanks and 15 infantry fighting vehicles, were delivered to Tapa, the Estonian Defense Forces said in a statement. The personnel of the Charlie Company of 68th Armored Regiment's 1st Battalion from the US Army 4th Infantry Division arrived in the town two days earlier, on January 30.
The company commander, Captain Edward Bachar, said that the US troops would take part in the Estonian Independence Day parade. Earlier, Bachar also said that his company would begin its expert marksmanship training this week.
The unit would replace a paratrooper company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade's 503rd Infantry Regiment, which was deployed to Estonia in September. The paratrooper company would then go back to its permanent base in Italy.
"The movement of equipment and troops into and around Europe marks the beginning of a continuous rotation of armored brigade combat teams from the United States as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve," the US Defense Department said in a statement, commenting on the move.
"Atlantic Resolve is a demonstration of continued US commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America's dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region in light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine," it added.
The deployment marks a new phase of the Operation Atlantic Resolve, which began in April 2014, following the Crimean referendum to split from coup-stricken Ukraine and join Russia. Atlantic Resolve is perceived by Washington as a demonstration of continued US commitment to the collective security of Europe in the view of alleged Russian "assertiveness."
In January, 2,800 pieces of US military hardware, including US Abrams tanks, Paladin artillery, Bradley fighting vehicles and 4,000 troops arrived in Europe as part of the operation. These forces subsequently moved to Poland to participate in military drills in late January, and then were deployed across seven countries, including the Baltic States, Bulgaria, Romania and Germany. A headquarters unit is stationed in Germany.
In July 2016, NATO members agreed to the "biggest reinforcement since the Cold War," posting four multinational battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
In addition to American troops going to Poland, NATO members Germany, Canada and Britain are also contributing to the significant NATO forces buildup in Eastern Europe and are sending battalions of up to 1,000 troops each to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Apart from the military buildup on Russian borders, the US and NATO strategy also includes conducting continuous, enhanced multinational training and security cooperation activities with US and NATO partners in eastern Europe. Since the Operation began, these military exercises have been conducted in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.
In mid-January, Estonia and Lithuania also signed agreements with the US regulating the status and deployment framework of American soldiers and hardware on the territory of the two Baltics states, which were dubbed "first of its kind."
The agreements provided a legal framework for the presence of US military personnel and their family members in the two Baltic States, as well as the use of the local military sites by American troops. They also enable a range of joint "defense-related activities."
While NATO members continue to point toward perceived "Russian aggression," calling it "a source of instability," Russia has consistently denied that it poses any kind of threat. Moscow has also expanded its own military training and increased its strategic capabilities in areas such as Kaliningrad, its western exclave.
Russia also tried to ease tensions by proposing enhanced cooperation with NATO on multiple levels in August. The proposal covered such fields as combatting terrorism and "cooperation to avoid incidents at sea and in the air" in border areas with NATO countries.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.