RUSI is delighted to host members of the 1 ROYAL WELSH Battlegroup currently deployed in theatre.
Following the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014, NATO established the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in the Baltic states, designed to protect and reaffirm the security of the alliance’s eastern member states. Centred in Tapa, southeast of the Estonian capital of Tallinn, the UK commands a multinational Battlegroup augmented by a sub-unit from Denmark or France. Since the start of the war in Ukraine, a second battlegroup has been deployed to Estonia to provide further deterrence and support to the 1st Estonian Brigade.
Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Streatfeild was commissioned into The Royal Green Jackets in 2004. He served as a Platoon Commander in Kosovo and Iraq, as Operations Officer in Afghanistan in 2009, and again as a Company Commander in Iraq on Operation SHADER in 2016. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 2017, he assumed command of the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh in January 2020, and deployed the 1 R WELSH Battlegroup to Estonia in early 2022.
Staff Sergeant Jens Holtze has served in the Viking Company, The Jutland Dragoon Regiment, since 2016. He deployed to Estonia in March 2022, his second operational tour following service in Iraq on Operation INHERENT RESOLVE in 2019.
Corporal Stephens joined the 3rd Battalion The Royal Welsh as an army reservist in 2009, before converting to regular service and transferring to the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh in 2017. This is his second operational tour in Estonia, having deployed on Operation CABRIT 2.
Lieutenant Colonel Gerry McKay is the Europe Operations Team Leader, Land Operations Command commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 2000 and has served several tours in Northern Ireland, Iraq, North Africa and Afghanistan. Most recently, he has served at PJHQ as the J3 Operations Team leader for Op SHADER and the J3 Crisis Operations Team Leader, leading the response to the COVID pandemic. McKay is now the Operations Team Leader for Europe in the Land Operations Command, leading the Army’s response to the Ukraine Crisis.
The event is chaired by Ed Arnold, Research Fellow for European Security at RUSI.
How to attend
This event is open to all. To take part, you must pre-register no later than 25 July using the ‘Register to attend’ button above. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. For any questions, please email Conor O'Shea, Events Manager, at email@example.com.