1st Battalion, Exercises, NATO | 04 July 2023

2nd Battalion Deploy on NATO Exercise in the Baltics

Exercise Spring Storm was a large-scale deployment involving 14,000 land, sea and air personnel from the UK, Estonia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the United States. 3 Platoon, A Company engaged with the exercise supporting Alpha Company, 4 SCOTS and the Light Dragoons Battlegroup. This uplift of troops into Estonia reinforced the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup up to a Brigade level strength.

NATO forces were simulating both friendly and enemy forces allowing for an array of challenging scenarios to take place across the entirety of the country. With the scenarios moving from the southeast (near the Russian border) all the way up towards Tallinn in the northwest. The peer-on-peer training enabled us to test other friendly forces, for example the reconnaissance capabilities of the Light Dragoons battlegroup of which 3 Platoon uplifted, tested the heavy armour of the Queen’s Royal Hussars battlegroup and the Estonian militaries infantry

3 Platoon mounted in Foxhound’s enabled the Light Dragoon’s battlegroup to have a strike force element, carrying out small scale strikes, ambushes, and raids on high value targets. 3 Platoon as part of the SCOTS Alpha Company throughout the exercise were able to conduct these actions deep into the enemy’s battle-space whilst the Danish infantry battalion continued its clearance behind the battlegroup. This being

outside the traditional role of light mechanised infantry, the platoon gained valuable experience in the role of a Reconnaissance Battlegroup, and exposure to new challenges, tactics and drills.

The exercise also included various defence engagement exercises, such as a battlefield study looking into the history and the strategic importance of Estonia. Looking in detail at World War 2 and the battles fought between the Russian’s and German occupying forces. Outside of this the troops also engaged in reassuring the Estonian people through a series of events, such as attending sporting events and visiting schools and universities across the country. Notably the Icebug mud run an assault course style event of which Lieutenant Stratton, Private Brampton and Highlander Quinn placed 6 overall. Finally, 3 Platoon were able to join in on various adventurous training events such as sea kayaking in the Baltic Sea, canoeing and mountain biking in the dense forests.

Overall, the exercise was an experience that the Platoon will not forget. Especially being part of a NATO level exercise of this scale. The sheer mass of troops and assets available engaging with the exercise paired with the ability to exercise in every town, street, forest across the country was something none had experienced before.


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