British troops safeguarding territory in eastern Europe
The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own) are helping safeguard the territorial integrity of NATO allies.
Currently deployed to Poland on Operation Cabrit (Op Cabrit), they are working with the US, Croatian, Romanian, and Polish armies to enhance Euro-Atlantic security, reassure our allies and deter our adversaries as part of NATO's enhanced Forward Presence (eFP).
The eFP demonstrates the NATO commitment to collective defence all year round.
Along with NATO colleagues in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, 140 Royal Lancers personnel deployed to Poland are working as part of a robust, rotational multinational, combat-ready force.
Operating alongside the US 9th Cavalry Regiment, the Battlegroup leaders in Poland, The Royal Lancers are supported by British soldiers from the Adjutant General’s Corps, Intelligence Corps, Royal Artillery, Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, Royal Engineers, Royal Logistic Corps, Royal Military Police, and Royal Signals.
Squadron Second in Command, Captain Guy Scott has been impressed by his soldiers. He said: “We have a range of cap badges serving with us out here and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly a team of individuals from different backgrounds and with different skills can come together and work effectively to make a difference as a team in the British Army.”
Since they arrived in Poland in April, The Royal Lancers have conducted a variety of multinational exercises using SA80 and Sharpshooter rifles; General Purpose Machine Gun, .50 Calibre and Grenade machine guns; Javelin missiles and Next-generation Light Anti-tank Weapons (NLAWs).
These exercises have included live-fire, urban warfare training and amphibious armour assaults facilitated the Polish Army but fighting with the US Army using M1A2 Abrams tanks.
Recently, the Lancers and soldiers from the US, Romanian and Croatian Armies supported the Polish Airforce to conduct airborne strike operations led by British Royal Artillery Joint Terminal Air Controllers (JTACs) and US Air Force Tactical Air Control Party (TACPs).
Ops Staff Sergeant Bowers, has been struck by the strength of NATO collaboration on this tour.
He said: “I have been involved in multiple multinational operational tours and, in terms of cooperation between nations, I haven’t seen anything like this before. All the partner nations are keen to collaborate and work together to achieve a common goal.”
In June, the regiment conducted an emergency deployment readiness exercise as part of Operation Aliwal Surge, before a 1,100km tactical road march between North Poland and Tallinn in Estonia, travelling across Latvia and Lithuania.
In the coming months, The Royal Lancers are due to participate in more multinational exercises, including Javelin and NLAW live firing in Estonia, and a large exercise in Latvia.
Describing working with the Royal Lancers on multinational exercises, Lieutenant Colonel James M Ray (Battle Group Commander, NATO eFP Battle Group Poland) said: “It has been great to work with across the battle groups in the Baltics and demonstrate our capability to rapidly respond if required. Ultimately, the Lancers have shown we are stronger together.”
The Royal Lancers’ work with the eFP is just one aspect of a wide range of UK support to NATO, securing and promoting global security in an ever-changing geo-political climate.