Exercise Tallinn Dawn, being conducted at the British Army’s Sennelager Training Centre in northern Germany, is being used to train 750-800 troops with the U.K. Royal Tank Regiment to assume control of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Estonia, Russia’s Baltic Sea neighbor. (Tallinn is the capital of Estonia, where NATO has based multirole combat aircraft at the Ämari Air Base since 2014 for patrols near Russia’s Kaliningrad territory.)
The Battlegroup headed to Estonia in September consists of the Royal Tank Regiment ‘s Dreadnought Squadron, equipped with the third-generation Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank, the C Company of the Royal Welsh infantry regiment equipped with Warrior armoured infantry fighting vehicles and components of the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Royal Army Medical Corps and the Royal Logistic Corps.
NATO lists elements of the current training as live-firing (day and night) and field training exercises involving armor, infantry, artillery, engineers and a wide range of supporting capabilities. That is, training for combat operations. Not for nothing are NATO’s Baltic Battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland called battlegroups. The British contribution is part of Operation CABRIT which also includes 150 British soldiers in Poland assigned to the U.S.-led NATO Battle group there. Estonia is within Britain’s, Lithuania is within Germany’s and Latvia in Canada’s.
A British military site states, “Op Cabrit is one of the Army’s key missions – it aims to defend NATO’s eastern flank against an increasingly assertive Russia.”
NATO reported that the large-scale Spring Storm (Kevadtorm) military training exercise that is employed to train the NATO Battlegroup in Estonia, this year with 5,000 Estonian and 2,000 troops from other NATO nations, concluded with a week of live-fire shooting drills by assorted branches of the respective armed forces participating. According to a NATO press release, during the live-fire exercises in the first week of this month “almost all types of Estonian and Allied weapons were fired.”
The release also stated, “The primary aim of the exercise was to train the operational structure of EDF [Estonian Defense Forces] to perform their wartime tasks….”
Estonian, U.S., British, French, Polish and Latvian military personnel employed, again according to the NATO report, Browning M2 heavy machine guns, ZU-23-2 23 mm anti-aircraft autocannon, Mistral and Starstreak High Velocity Missile anti-aircraft missile systems, and Hellfire missiles fired from AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, which missiles were used to “destroy both flying and sea-based targets.” The Estonian navy supported the above live-fire drills by launching waterborne targets from a warship into the target area.
From any perspective NATO is training the military of its Baltic state members for war. War with Russia, war with Belarus or war with both.
Rick Rozoff is a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. He has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. He is the manager of Stop NATO. This originally appeared at Anti-Bellum.