NATO Takes Light Dragoons to Poland
British Army’s Light Dragoons Deploy in Enhanced Forward Presence
Around 150 soldiers of Mustang Troop (A Squadron), The Light Dragoons, have been sent to Orzysz, Poland, on Operation CABRIT as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence to deter Russian aggression in Eastern Europe.
Vehicles from the Light Dragoons arrived at Emden in Germany on Friday, 3 March 2017, ahead of their deployment to Poland. The onward journey involved a tactical road move from their situation in Germany to Poland, a distance of some 1300 km, on 31 March 2017.
The Light Dragoons will integrate with the Polish 15th Mechanized Brigade, 16th Infantry Division, as part of the 1,300 strong Battlegroup. Other elements include the US Army’s 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, and an air defence battery and military police from Romania.
Based at Catterick, The Light Dragoons are a light cavalry regiment in the British Army’s Adaptive Force. They are a mobile unit using the Jackal 2 fighting vehicle.
NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP)
As part of NATO’s strengthened deterrence and defence posture, Allies agreed at the 2016 Summit in Warsaw to enhance NATO’s military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance. NATO’s enhanced forward presence is defensive, proportionate, and in line with international commitments. It represents a significant commitment by Allies and is a tangible reminder that an attack on one is an attack on all. Beginning in early 2017, NATO’s enhanced forward presence will comprise multinational forces provided by framework nations and other contributing Allies on a voluntary, sustainable and rotational basis. They will be based on four rotational battalion-size battlegroups that will operate in concert with national home defence forces, and will be present in the host countries.
Quoted on the British Army website, Major Noel Claydon-Swales, Officer Commanding A Squadron, The Light Dragoons, said:
We are going to Poland at the request of their Government to act as a deterrent and to provide reassurance to our NATO allies. We are looking forward to starting and working further with our NATO allies as part of the eFP Poland Battlegroup. The mood among everyone is very positive. We have worked hard for the last month working on our interoperability, proving concept and testing ourselves constantly.
The Light Dragoons will be rotated in six months.
Photo: British Army, Light Dragoons, Jackal 2, arriving in Emden, Germany, for deployment in Poland, Enhanced Forward Presence, by Dominic King, Army Press Office Germany (Crown Copyright, 2017).