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Nato forces ‘100% ready’ to defend Europe if Russia invades
Nato forces are “100% ready” to defend Europe should Putin decide to invade, a British military commander has told PA news agency.
Lieutenant Colonel Ru Streatfeild, who is leading the organisation’s battlegroup in Estonia, said British troops were “buzzing” and immensely proud” to be helping reinforce the country’s eastern border with Russia.
Troops led by the UK’s 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh, which he commands and have recently been deployed to the Baltic State, took part in a large-scale exercise on Tapa military base, only 70 miles from the Russian border, on Thursday.
Exercise Bold Dragon involved around 2,300 soldiers from UK, French, Danish and Estonian ranks using tanks, including the British Challenger 2 tanks, armoured infantry, engineers, artillery and logistics.
It saw the allied forces go head-to-head against the Estonians in the mud, snow and boggy conditions to further hone Nato’s war capabilities and tactics and ensure the smooth running of working together.
Speaking during the exercise Lt Col Streatfeild said the war in Ukraine had given his soldiers “a razor-like focus”.
“We are literally under NATO command right now. There are NATO plans in place, and whatever orders we are given under a NATO structure, we will execute them,” he said.
Asked if Nato forces were prepared in the event of a Russian invasion, he said: “100 per cent. There is swagger. They are on their game and they are ready. It is not that people revel in this. But soldiers want to do a job. They want to put their tradecraft into practice. This is what they join the Army to do.”