The eFP mission aims to continue to deter aggressions towards our Baltic allies through a defensive deployment
The Spanish contribution to NATO´s Battle Group in Latvia is visible in the troops that make up a Mechanised Tactical Subgroup, a Sappers Unit, different posts within the Battle Group´s Headquarter Command and the Latvian Brigade, as well as a national support element, which includes the Logistical Unit.
The main resources provided by Spain are the “Leopardo 2E” battle tanks and the “Pizzaro” infantry fighting vehicles (IFV). This is the first time that our country has deployed this type of resource in a foreign mission.
Moreover, other mechanized resources are also provided, such as the M-113 armoured personnel carrier, heavy mortars, engineering vehicle (VCZ) and the anti-tank guided missile Spike. It must also be pointed out the contribution of units that substantially improve fighting capacity of the Tactical Subgroup, such as the Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTCA) and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), named “Raven”.
So far, there have been six rotations. The current rotation is composed of personnel and means of the X Brigade Guzmán el Bueno, based in Cerro Muriano (Córdoba). Personnel from AALOG 11, AGTP 1, RT 21 and RACA 11 are also part of the rotation.
The eFP mission aims to continue to deter aggressions towards our Baltic allies through a defensive deployment, and answers to the existing agreement with the Alliance to help allied countries.
The NATO Battle Group in the eFP mission deployed in Latvia assures a credible and efficient deterrence against any threat to our Baltic ally. This Battle Group is ready to act to defend Latvia, if necessary, and shows the strong commitment with the Alliance and component countries, as well as the multinational character of the organization.
Amongst the most significant agreements reached by the 28 Heads of State and Government of the allied countries during the 2016 Warsaw Summit the establishment of an enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland should be highlighted. It acts as a measure of deterrence and defence in preventing possible conflicts, protecting the allies and preserving peace and stability beyond the Alliance borders.
Thus, NATO materialises its commitment of securing its Eastern flank through dissuasive deployment, combining both defence and dialogue, as main parts of the Alliance.
For this purpose, around 4.000 soldiers were deployed into four Multinational Battalion Battle Groups: Battle Group (BG) in the Baltic countries and Poland; the BG in Estonia led by the United Kingdom, the BG in Lithuania led by Germany and the Polish BG led by the United States. It is worth mentioning the Latvian BG, where the Spanish contingent is included, is led by Canada and integrates soldiers from 6 different countries, Albania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy and Poland.
· January 16: The sixth Handover/takeover (HOTO) of the Spanish contingent is conducted. The rotation is composed of personnel and means of the X Brigade Guzmán el Bueno, based in Cerro Muriano (Córdoba). The Commnader of the X Brigade is Lieutenant Colonel Emilio Hermoso Orzáez.
· 12 July: The fifth Handover/takeover (HOTO) of the Spanish contingent is conducted. The rotation is composed of personnel and means of the XI Brigade "Extremadura", based in Bótoa (Badajoz). The Commnader of the XI Brigade is Lieutenant Colonel Fernando Ávila Muñoz.
· January 15. The fourth Handover/takeover (HOTO) of the Spanish contingent in the mission Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) is conducted. The 4th eFP contingent, whose Chief is Lieutenant Colonel Luis Manuel Benéitez Martínez, is mainly composed of personnel from the 1st Brigade “Aragón” and from the 41st Logistic Support Group (AALOG in Spanish). This contingent has replaced the previous one, mainly constituted from personnel from the 12th Brigade “Guadarrama”.
· January 15. The first HOTO among Spanish contingents is performed.
· July 18. HOTO between the second and third Spanish contingents takes place.
· From August 20 to September 1. The Battle Group takes part in the 18th Latvian Armed Forces military exercise NAMEJS.
· June 19: a ceremony establishing the Battle Group in Latvia is held.
· November 19. The Spanish contingent deployed at Adazi participates in the parade that commemorates the Latvian National Holiday.
· July 9. During the Warsaw Summit, countries of the Alliance agree to establish Enhanced Forward Presence of defensive and dissuasive nature and with a multinational character, in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
· March 29. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania join the Atlantic Alliance.
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