British Army rotates troops in Poland as part of NATO’s enhanced forward presence
The Royal Lancers, D Squadron has taken over from the Royal Dragoon Guards, Black Dragoon Squadron as part of the British commitment to NATO in the Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) US-led Battlegroup Poland.
The transfer of authority took place under the watch of Brigadier General Fajkowski, Commander of the Polish 15 Mechanised Infantry Brigade. The British squadron now starts its six-month integrating with allied forces in support of Baltic security, in the face of Russian aggression.
The British Army have had a squadron-sized unit in regular rotation within the American-led Battlegroup since the eFP battlegroups were initiated. NATO enhanced its presence in the eastern part of the alliance in 2017, by establishing four multinational battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
These battlegroups, led by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the United States respectively, are multinational, and combat-ready, demonstrating the strength of the transatlantic bond.
Their presence makes clear that an attack on one ally will be considered an attack on the whole alliance; they form part of the biggest reinforcement of NATO's collective defence in a generation.
D Squadron are a light cavalry squadron mounted on Jackal armoured vehicles, specialising in reconnaissance. Prior to deployment, the squadron undertook extensive training to reach readiness, including bringing the Jackal into its portfolio of capabilities.
Training culminated in Exercise Lucknow Lancer which took place across the hills of southern Scotland. Practising live-firing and close-target reconnaissance, the unit trained in air-land integration using cutting-edge digital technology to call in fast-air support, preparing them to work with the NATO air assets on operations.
D Squadron have a wealth of operational experience in Afghanistan and Kosovo, which has prepared the unit well for providing Britain’s ongoing commitment to NATO’s eFP in north-eastern Poland. They will live and train within the US armoured battlegroup, alongside Romanian air defence and under the command of the Polish Brigade.
Officer Commanding D Squadron, Major Taylor-Dickson said, “After an extensive year of pre-deployment training, we are looking forward to integrating with our NATO partners, physically understanding the regional terrain and supporting Poland in protecting their territorial integrity.”
The eFP Poland is commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Castilla, of the 3/8th Cavalry, who added “I am really excited to see the Prince of Wales Troop in action and I am more excited to get to know their soldiers, who are the embodiment of UK determination.”