More than 1300 British soldiers and 100 armoured vehicles, including Challenger 2 MBTs and Warrior IFVs, from the 3rd UK Division participated in Exercise BLACK EAGLE, a British/Polish NATO exercise held in Western Poland towards the end of November.
Soldiers from Tidworth-based The King’s Royal Hussars (KRH), the UK’s Lead Armoured Battlegroup operating Challenger 2, carried out live-firing battlefield exercises in conjunction with their Polish counterparts equipped with the German made Leopard MBTs, whilst 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh (1R Welsh), with the Warrior, provided troops on the ground.
A significant demonstration of the UK’s support to the region and NATO’s Immediate Assurance Measures, Ex BLACK EAGLE highlighted the British Army’s ability to deploy an armoured battlegroup at short notice anywhere in the world in support of the nation’s allies. The exercise raised several questions amongst analysts. The UK agreed to participate in the exercise in July and some have asked if the exercise was to make a point to Russia over the Crimea crisis – something flatly denied by the British Army and the UK government.