eFP troops

Enhance Forward Presence (EFP)

 

NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence at the Eastern Flank of the Alliance

 

Complementing the Readiness Action Plan NATO members agreed at the Wales Summit in 2014 upon in response to Russia’s aggression in Eastern Ukraine, NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) presents a tailored military strategy primarily aimed to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and Poland at the Eastern Flank of the Alliance. With the NATO members’ unanimous decision to launch the EFP at the Warsaw Summit in 2016, the 28 members states* reaffirmed their commitment to Art. 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty ‘’that an armed attack against one or more of {the NATO allies} in Europe {…} shall be considered an attack against them all’’. Considered to be the biggest reinforcement package in Europe after the end of the Cold War, the EFP reassures the Eastern European members that directly share a border with Russia, that collective defense remain a cornerstone of the Alliance.

 

On a rotational basis, four robust, multinational battalions are stationed to deter any threats emanating from NATO’s Eastern neighbour in these respective countries: Poland (NATO battalion led by the US), Lithuania (NATO battalion under the leadership of Germany) and Latvia (NATO battalion commanded by Canada).

 

Estonian forces share its military base in Tapa with 1100 NATO troops, thereunder 800 military personnel from UK, 300 French soldiers and a dozen combat-ready servicemen from various NATO countries. Equipped with battle tanks, artillery, armoured vehicles, self-propelled guns and Tactical UAVs, the EFP forces are commanded by the British Lieutenant Colonel Mark Wilson. In the beginning of 2018, Danish troops will replace the French contingent.

 

All four battlegroups are under NATO command, through the Multinational Corps Northeast Headquarters in Szczecin, Poland.

 

 

*today: 29 NATO members; Montenegro joined the alliance on 5 June 2017, the date on which all formal documents were deposited with the US State Department