UK and Estonian Air Defence Conduct live firing on Estonian Coast
Men of the British Royal Artillery are introduced to the Estonian ZSU 23-2 anti aircraft gun by the 1st Estonian Infantry Brigade's Air Defence Battalion in Rutja, Estonia during live fire training on Exercise Siil (Hedgehog), May 3, 2018. - NATO photo by SSgt Dan Bardsley GBRA OR7
RUTJA, Estonia – The 12th Regiment Royal Artillery, along with their Estonian counterparts from the 1st Estonian Air Defence Battalion, conducted live firing drills and procedures during Exercise SIIL 18 on Thursday, May 3, 2018 on the Estonian coast.
"There are many real and demanding training opportunities here in Estonia alongside our NATO allies, where we are able to conduct all forms of contingent expeditionary activity," said Lieutenant Colonel Graham Taylor, Commanding Officer 12th Regiment Royal Artillery. "We have a strong relationship with our Estonian colleagues as part of the battlegroup in Tapa, and on range days such as this, we continue to learn from each other increasing our mutual combat readiness and defensive posture."
As part of the training camp's live firing activity, the Estonian Air Defence Battalion operated the ZSU-23mm weapon system which throughout the day successfully shot down the low flying training drones out to sea. Reinforcing cross-skills opportunities, personnel from the British battery were also able to operate this Estonian system under range control conditions in order to learn about this air defence system.
"Our experience supporting the eFP battlegroup has been hugely rewarding and this live firing event has proven how strong and credible our interoperability, techniques, tactics and procedures truly are," said Major Doug Webster, Battery Commander 58 Battery. "Our professional training benefit is continuous, and even with the recent winter in Estonia, we were able re-learn how to operate in such harsh conditions and how to maintain our equipment properly and perform individually."
The 12th Regiment Royal Artillery are based in Thorney Island, UK and amongst other tasks provide artillery support to the UK and Danish contingents of the Estonian Battlegroup . Further live firing will continue in Rutja with the British Stormer platform and other weapon systems.
Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office