https://modmedia.blog.gov.uk/2017/03/18/defence-in-the-media-saturday-18-march-2017/

Defence in the media: Saturday 18 March 2017

Today’s defence related media coverage includes news of British troops arriving in Estonia, as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence.

UK troops in Estonia

There is widespread coverage today of British troops arriving in Estonia to start their NATO deployment. Print coverage, including in The Guardian, Independent, The Sun, The Times, Daily Star, Daily Mirror and Daily Mail, reports that Britain is sending 800 troops to Estonia, emphasising that the UK is taking a leading role alongside other nations in NATO. Broadcasters also cover the news, including on BBC Radio 4 Today, which featured a clip from the Defence Secretary and an interview with the deployment’s Commanding Officer, Lt Col Mark Wilson. The deployment also featured on Sky News.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

In the face of an increasingly assertive Russia, NATO is stepping up its commitment to collective defence. British troops will play a leading role in Estonia and support our US allies in Poland, as part of wider efforts to defend NATO. Our rising defence budget means we can support those deployments in the long-term and strengthen our commitment to European security.

Commanding Officer of 5 Rifles Lieutenant Colonel Mark Wilson added:

The UK and Estonia have a long and proud history of serving together, including in Afghanistan, so it is an honour to lead 5 Rifles on this deployment as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence. My soldiers are looking forward to again be working, training and exercising alongside their Estonian counterparts.

You can read more about the British troops in Estonia here.

You can see pictures of the deployment here.

 Tornado

 The Scotsman and The Herald report that the last Tornado squadron based at RAF Lossiemouth have staged a final flypast before it is disbanded and replaced by Eurofighter Typhoons. Words from Wing Commander Paul Froome are carried, referencing the overall drawdown of the Tornado fleet and the ‘exceptional level of service’ which the jets’ Squadrons have provided.

 Picture of the day

An AS90 and a Challenger 2 tank being loaded onto cargo ship in the port of Emden, Germany, before deployment to Estonia.
An AS90 and a Challenger 2 tank being loaded onto cargo ship in the port of Emden, Germany, before deployment to Estonia.