British Servicemen are preparing for one of their largest deployments in Europe since the end of the cold war the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has said, a move Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has called a show of “solidarity and strength”.
The operation will see around 8000 British soldiers being stationed in countries across north and eastern Europe, such as Finland and Macedonia, where they will be partaking in joint drills with NATO allies and those from the Joint Expeditionary Force alliance, which includes Finland and Sweden.
The MOD pointed out that this activity had been long planned, but had been enhanced to respond to new security requirements following Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.
Commander Field Army Lieutenant General Ralph Wooddisse said: “The UK makes a significant contribution to the defence of Europe and the deterrence of Russian aggression. The British Army’s series of exercises is fundamental to both.
“The scale of the deployment, coupled with the professionalism, training and agility of the British Army, will deter aggression at a scale not seen in Europe this century”.
Whilst continuing to condemn Russian aggression, NATO has since 2017, been running war games on the Polish and Lithuanian borders that encircle the sandwiched Russian province of Kaliningrad.
NATO’s exercises have also since expanded across the Baltic states, Baltic Sea, North Sea and Scandinavia, and have involved thousands of military personnel from 19 NATO allied nations, which Russia has previously deemed a threat to regional stability.