The UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force conducted a demonstration of its capabilities in Estonia.
In Kolga Bay British and Estonian air, ground and naval forces combined for the first act of the final stage of the Baltic Protector deployment for political and military leaders of nine nations.
According to a news release:
“The demonstration opened with a pair of RAF Typhoon fighters screaming overhead, missing the trees by inches.
As spectator’s eyes followed the disappearing jets, a Merlin of the Commando Helicopter Force appeared over the water and eight Royal Marines ‘heli-casted’ – jumping from the helicopter into the choppy waters below before swimming towards two inflatable raiding craft that sped towards the Baltic coastline.
They silently dropped the marines on to the sand and as the men moved up the beach, an Estonian reconnaissance trooper emerged from the woods to guide the commandos ashore.”
As they rolled up to the outer perimeter, more Merlins, Wildcats and Apaches flew overhead and commandos ‘fast roped’ on to the ground to reinforce the outer cordo.
“We’re no longer in the game of opposed landings,” explained Major Sam Hughes, in charge of X-Ray Company, 45 Commando.
“We now have the ability to land at a time and place of our choosing before hitting the enemy where they least expect it. In this scenario, the Estonians had secured the beach and we moved in to reinforce their position.”