British Prime Minister David Cameron made the announcement during the NATO summit held this week in Warsaw, emphasising that Britain’s role within the alliance is in no doubt. Cameron revealed that the deployment will be broken down in to 500 troops being based in Estonia and 150 in Poland. He also stated that up to 3,000 troops will be made ready in the UK for rapid deployment to Eastern Europe should a situation arise that warrants their use.
According to The Telegraph, the British contingent will comprise of elements from the following units;
- The 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade.
- 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.
- The 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.
In terms of equipment, these units will include Challenger II Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) and Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs).
When questioned about what message this is sending to Russia, Cameron replied;
It’s a combination of defence and dialogue. We can’t close the door on Russia – we have to engage in dialogue with them. But Russia must be in no doubt that the NATO forces are lined up in Europe and we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with each other.
David Cameron’s words were intended to emphasise that the UK’s uncertain economic and political future regarding Europe following the vote to leave the European Union will not impact on its role in maintaining security on the continent.