Exercise Hedgehog involved 15,000 troops from 14 countries coming together on the Estonia-Latvia border.
The exercise was the largest military exercise ever to have taken place in the history of Estonia, say the British Army here.
“The scale and complexity of Hedgehog was mightily impressive with the British Army providing a somewhat heavy presence among the 10 participating nations; not least due to the 64 tonne Challenger 2 main battle tanks and 25 tonne Warrior armoured fighting vehicles sent to support the Estonian 2nd Infantry Brigade in the south of the country. Hedgehog is an annual exercise designed to test the security of NATO’s eastern flank, referred to as the ‘B three P’ – the three Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) and Poland.
The Deterrence factor towards any aggressive neighbouring state who may covet the thought of rolling across the border was another major consideration in the planning of Hedgehog. Estonia shares a border with Russia and there is a palpable heightened level of concern following the events of the 24 February in Ukraine. For the past nine months that presence has been around 700 troops of the Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) battlegroup and for Exercise Hedgehog they were joined by a further battlegroup centred on the armoured infantry of the Royal Welsh meaning the British Army contributed some 1500 troops to Hedgehog.”
The Commanding Officer of the RTR and Commander RTR Battlegroup, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Worth was quoted as saying:
“We are working this week with the 2nd Estonian Brigade and it offers them a significant increase in their combat power, normally they are a light brigade and we are bringing something much heavier that has increased their lethality significantly.”