French Leclerc tanks in forward presence in the Estonian cold

(B2) The French detachment officially took up residence in the Estonian military camp at Tapa on Thursday (25.03), alongside the British. A deployment as part of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence on the borders with Russia

A detachment of 300 soldiers

With 300 soldiers, the Army detachment will be deployed until March 2022. It includes a predominantly armored combined arms tactical sub-group (SGTIA), made up of twelve Leclerc tanks (two platoons), a reconnaissance platoon and an infantry combat section (with 8 armored infantry fighting vehicles or VBCI and 21 light armored vehicles or VBL), an engineer combat section (with two armored engineer vehicles) and an observation team and fire coordination.

The whole supplemented by a national support element (ESN), composed of a logistics detachment (with 2 Leclerc tank repairmen, 6 armored vehicle carriers and 7 multi-purpose logistics or PPLOG carriers), a provost detachment and a counter-intelligence detachment. Colonel Bruno Démésy, from communications and former head of the DICOD media department, acts as national representative (Senior national representative) within the British General Staff.

A deployment as part of the enhanced forward presence

France deploys a military contingent every year alternately in Estonia within the British multinational battalion and in Lithuania within a German multinational battalion. What is called in the French army the Lynx mission corresponds to the reinforced forward presence posture decided at the Wales summit in 2014 between the NATO Allies to 'reassure' its easternmost countries ( Baltics and Poles) under increasing pressure from Russia.

Latvia is covered today by a Canadian multinational battalion, based in Adazi, with Spaniards, Slovaks, Slovenes, Albanians and Montenegrins, and Poles. In Lithuania, the German multinational battalion, based in Rukla, includes Dutch, Luxembourgers, Norwegians, Icelanders, Czechs). Poland is covered by an essentially American multinational battalion, based in Orzysz, with Belgian and British support.


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).