News story

UK Armed Forces lead NATO exercise in the Baltics

UK Armed Forces are leading a NATO Land training exercise in the Baltic states, underlining continued support to the region.

Exercise Arrcade Fusion, which takes place in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, will be led by the Army, accompanied by a small number of supporting personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

Around 1,400 troops from 18 NATO nations will take part in the exercise, which began over the weekend, and runs through November. The UK is committing 800 troops and around 350 Army logistics vehicles.

The UK led exercise will put the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) – the land element of NATO’s new Rapid Reaction Force – to the test. The exercise will help prepare the new force before it becomes operational in 2016.

It will also demonstrate NATO’s capacity to operate in complex environments across the conventional, unconventional and hybrid spectrum of warfare.

Arrcade Fusion reinforces the UK’s continued commitment to the Baltic States. Next year RAF jets will take part in the Baltic Air Policing mission for the 3rd consecutive year while last month, the Defence Secretary announced that the UK will deploy a persistent presence to the Baltic states to provide reassurance and build the capability of their armed forces of the region.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

This exercise underlines our commitment to the sovereignty of the democratic nations of Eastern Europe.

It builds on our decision to deploy RAF jets and company sized units to the Baltic region.

It will also provide crucial training to ensure the effectiveness of the new Rapid Reaction Force when it launches next year.

Lieutenant General Tim Evans, commander Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, said:

The Allied Rapid Reaction Corps has deployed to the Baltic States on Exercise Arrcade Fusion to improve and refine the way we operate alongside our allies in the region.

The exercise will also assure the public and the governments of the Baltic states that NATO stands ready to support its members when required.