A contingent of the Belgian Armed Forces arrived in Estonia, err.ee reports. The Belgian have joined the British-led NATO battle group stationed in Tapa. They will stay in Estonia for four months replacing a Danish contingent that rotated out in 2018.
The Belgian units arrived in three convoys of 100 vehicles in total. The core of the contingent is made up of troops from Belgium's historical Chasseurs Ardennais battalion. The unit has approximately 300 personnel along with some 100 units of equipment, including Swiss-built Mowag Piranha armored fighting vehicles, some of which are equipped with SPIKE anti-tank missile systems.
The newly arrived infantry unit is reinforced with 120 mm mortars. It includes combat engineers equipped with the Leguan tank-launched assault bridge system, logistical support, and military police squads. The Belgian contingent will participate in various training exercises. They are also planning to join this year's Kevadtorm (Spring Storm) exercise.
Belgium and Estonia have long-standing ties in defense cooperation. Since 1998, the Estonian Navy has been training its officers at the Belgian-Netherlands Naval Warfare School. Belgium was the first NATO member to contribute to the Baltic air policing mission in 2004.
Since 2014, Belgian troops have also participated in the Estonian Defense Forces' annual Kevadtorm exercise. Belgium also joined the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Tallinn in 2016.