The Baltics: should Britain be rushing to their defence?

Canada has signed some sort of deal to increase troop deployments in Latvia.
U.S. increases its firepower in eastern Europe as Canada signs deal to bolster NATO presence in Latvia

There are no details as to exactly what this means as there are other countries involved and negotiations with them are ongoing. The plan however appears to be to bring the battle group up to brigade strength. PM Trudeau met with Denmark PM Frederiksen, and Denmark's involvement in this was possibly one of the items on the agenda.

Defence Minister Anita Anand described the declaration as a first step and said consultation with the nine other nations that makeup the Canadian-led multinational battle group will be needed to determine who can contribute what to bulking up the force to brigade size as NATO has ordered. A brigade can involve anywhere between 3,000 and 6,000 troops depending upon its composition.

"It requires us to enter into conversations with our allies to understand what they can commit respectively, so we can grow this together with our allies," Anand said during a last minute press availability at the summit.

Latvia and Estonia are pleased. Latvia also talked about getting more artillery, air defences, and anti-ship missiles.
Both the Latvian defence minister and the country's chief of the defence staff praised the agreement with Canada.

Lt.-Gen. Leonid Kalnins said the declaration is much broader than just dropping troops into foxholes. It will involve working with Canada to get the right equipment to defend his country, things like modern artillery, including rocket-propelled system, known as HIMARS; air defences and anti-ship missiles — all the things Ukraine has asked for in its war with Russia.

"It's not just a question about the number of soldiers," he said. "This is mostly a question about capabilities, what kind of capabilities."
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Let's hope the RN inform him of the realities
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
While Boris announces he is deploying a carrier to the Baltic
Interesting but odd I'd have thought land based aircraft would be more efficient given that we essentially (Nato) border most of the pond anyway!
Sabre rattling?
 

Yokel

LE
Interesting but odd I'd have thought land based aircraft would be more efficient given that we essentially (Nato) border most of the pond anyway!
Sabre rattling?

Has it been said that the carrier group would actually deploy to the Baltic, or be part of a wider NATO campaign to secure the transatlantic supply lines, protect amphibious forces, and stop the Russians from having a free hand?

Carriers are mentioned a lot in the Baltic scenario mentioned in this paper from the Human Security Centre: Fire and Ice - A New Maritime Strategy for NATO's Northern Flank
 

ugly

LE
Moderator

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
While Boris announces he is deploying a carrier to the Baltic
Did he ? Where ?

This is what the Defence Secretary actually said:

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace MP said:​

We have always been clear that our strength and security comes from our alliances, and NATO is at the heart of that.
The New Force Model and our presence in Estonia will ensure that the Alliance is able to respond at pace, helping to determine stability across Europe in the decades to come.
RAF Typhoon and F-35B Lightning fighter jets, Royal Navy vessels including Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, and brigade-sized land forces will all be made available to NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) as part of the New Force Model.

NATO has introduced the New Force Model in support of Leaders’ decision to modernise and strengthen the NATO Force Structure for the future. Allies will declare capabilities, equipment and forces available to support SACEUR, ensuring they are in the right place at the right time. This will allow the Alliance’s military command to plan for emerging threats, safe in the knowledge that these assets will be available to take part in the Alliance’s response.


Not the same as

' We are deploying HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Baltic'

- which makes a much crunchier headline - but as far as I can tell, is untrue.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
BFBS backgrounder with Light Dragoons and King's Royal Hussars deploying to Poland:



( for @AlienFTM and other Cav types)

1656606336413.png


( The red sector is the Russian Oblast (since 1945) of Kaliningrad, formerly Kónigsberg, capital of East Prussia.)

From 16:30 onwards, the CR2 component.
 
Last edited:

ugly

LE
Moderator
BFBS backgrounder with Light Dragoons and King's Royal Hussars deploying to Poland:



( for @AlienFTM and other Cav types)

View attachment 673960

( The red sector is the Russian Oblast (since 1945) of Kaliningrad, formerly Kónigsberg, capital of East Prussia.)

From 16:30 onwards, the CR2 component.

It’s great till you realise everyone has sent their best kit and apart from CR2 we have sent Jackal and Mastiff to pretend to be Warrior and whatever replaces Scimitar if it ever happens for real.
I suppose exercising in yellow jackals may be nice in summer but sod that in winter! I guess Ajax will need to get a shake on if it’s going to play!
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
What I know about the much-beleagured AJAX programme would fit neatly engraved on an ant's ball.

But I well remember that much of BAOR was stripped to provide Brigadier Patrick Cordingly with an Armoured Bde worth deploying....I doubt much has changed for the better.
 
Has it been said that the carrier group would actually deploy to the Baltic, or be part of a wider NATO campaign to secure the transatlantic supply lines, protect amphibious forces, and stop the Russians from having a free hand?

Carriers are mentioned a lot in the Baltic scenario mentioned in this paper from the Human Security Centre: Fire and Ice - A New Maritime Strategy for NATO's Northern Flank

What I saw reported was “to the region” looking at MOD press release “will all be made available to NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)”
 
Did he ? Where ?

This is what the Defence Secretary actually said:

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace MP said:​


RAF Typhoon and F-35B Lightning fighter jets, Royal Navy vessels including Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, and brigade-sized land forces will all be made available to NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) as part of the New Force Model.

NATO has introduced the New Force Model in support of Leaders’ decision to modernise and strengthen the NATO Force Structure for the future. Allies will declare capabilities, equipment and forces available to support SACEUR, ensuring they are in the right place at the right time. This will allow the Alliance’s military command to plan for emerging threats, safe in the knowledge that these assets will be available to take part in the Alliance’s response.


Not the same as

' We are deploying HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Baltic'

- which makes a much crunchier headline - but as far as I can tell, is untrue.

Blame the media that’s where I hear it
 
Garrison duty in the Falkland Islands in the 80’s gave us nothing, no loa, Lsa nothing just the opportunity for the married men to miss out on family life and come home to bank accounts as empty as before they deployed! The only folk getting any financial supplements were those individuals who were posted in for a second time!
No mobile phone, no email just paper bluies and a seriously expensive sat phone!
Lucky us to carry live ammo and be on forty minutes notice for four months as qrf!
IIRC the LOA got taken from BFFI and given to Belize to spend on rum and whores, correct me if wrong but did those detached from germany lose LOA etc leaving some service families in dire money troubles
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
IIRC the LOA got taken from BFFI and given to Belize to spend on rum and whores, correct me if wrong but did those detached from germany lose LOA etc leaving some service families in dire money troubles
Not sure about BAOR as formed units were supposed to only come from UKLF our tour was about six months after leaving Munster for Weeton and we had lost our LOA, we were almost on field conditions at Weeton as the camp was in tatters so a four month tour was kept reasonably short by flying in and out both ways with just a refuel at Ascension!
The pads dipped out no doubt as they announced no extra pay before we left and no operational recognition despite being on forty minutes notice for four months and being bombed up! The only folk who qualified for extra money were the handful of individuals who were second touring within two years I think so mainly specialists and crabs. Very few people volunteered for a second tour apart from big and daft who did a GD tour pan and spud bashing to save money up!
 
Not sure about BAOR as formed units were supposed to only come from UKLF our tour was about six months after leaving Munster for Weeton and we had lost our LOA, we were almost on field conditions at Weeton as the camp was in tatters so a four month tour was kept reasonably short by flying in and out both ways with just a refuel at Ascension!
The pads dipped out no doubt as they announced no extra pay before we left and no operational recognition despite being on forty minutes notice for four months and being bombed up! The only folk who qualified for extra money were the handful of individuals who were second touring within two years I think so mainly specialists and crabs. Very few people volunteered for a second tour apart from big and daft who did a GD tour pan and spud bashing to save money up!
Raf Regt shorad from germany were doing 3 months a year iirc so got air brigde not the worlds shitest cruise, i did 24on24off for 4 months, no r+r no at, in fact i sailed south ith the RE sqn who had been in the conflict so iirc were back down there in less than 2 years
 
As for how it could be improved - I see 3 options.

1. Accept its a bit pump and financially reward the troops with LOA so they can do something productive upon return to the UK (and so they look forward to going)

2. Make it less operational. Remove the op name, put less pressure on the commanders. No integration with the Estonian Bde and just focus on normal stuff but living overseas. Get troops out and about as much as possible and accept that it doesn't matter what they're doing, it's their presence that counts.

3. Make it more operational. OPs on the border, patrols in rural areas. Humint, sigint missions. Rehearsals. Make it real and rewarding enough for a medal to be viable and keep the troops focused.
Interesting. I had assumed that we were doing most/much of (3) above. If not, why not? Seems like a missed opportunity if there is a credible threat.
 
IIRC the LOA got taken from BFFI and given to Belize to spend on rum and whores, correct me if wrong but did those detached from germany lose LOA etc leaving some service families in dire money troubles
In NI in the seventies, those units completing 4 month emergency tours from Germany lost part of their LOA if the wife and familly stayed in Germany. If the familly returned home to the UK for the duration they lost all of it. To compensate the Government kindly introduced NI pay of 50p a day to all troops in the Province in 1974.
 
This story from a Canadian defence industry trade journal has a bit more detail on the increased Canadian commitment to the Baltics.
Canada and Latvia Sign Joint Declaration to Augment NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Latvia
  • continue to lead NATO forces as the Framework Nation in Latvia;
  • work with Latvia and NATO Allies to generate and stage forces in order to surge to a combat capable brigade;
  • establish and lead elements of a forward brigade command and control; and
  • be prepared to provide critical capabilities to operations, such as ammunition and explosives, air defence systems, and anti-tank weapons systems.
Canada currently has 1,400 personnel deployed under Operation REASSURANCE.

This photo shows Canada's and Latvia's respective PMs and defence ministers signing the joint agreement relating to this.

165659666062bda8b46e696-700x700.jpg
 

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