Bulford troops tell Tidworth comrades what it's like in Estonia

5 Rifles Estonia 2 (credit @BritishArmy)

5:51am 15th November 2017

Bulford based soldiers from the 5th battalion the Rifles, have been telling Spire FM about their latest deployment - and how it feels to be home.

The regiment have just returned from Estonia, the first to be deployed there from Britain.

A battlegroup of 1,200 men and women have been working in Eastern Europe for the last 7 months, with the aim of supporting their NATO allies and combatting the threat of Russian aggression.

5 Rifles Estonia 1 (credit @BritishArmy)

5 Rifles Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Ridland explained more about their role:

"Our deployment was the inaugural one in what is going to be at least a 5 year commitment for the UK and NATO. So I was really conscious that we were only the first iteration of what is a much longer term effort over in Estonia."

5 Rifles have been replaced on the Estonian mission by Tidworth's Royal Welsh.

You can read about that on our news page at www.spirefm.co.uk/news

Corporal Adam Pidsley gave us an insight of what was like on the ground:

"I was there for the second part of the tour, for 3 months. The culture's amazing, completely different to what we're used to. So getting amongst that, meeting new people, the Estonians, the Spanish, the French, working alongside them was brilliant."

5 Rifles Estonia 3 (credit @BritishArmy)

And the Commanding Officer says they experienced some real extremes out there:

"When we first got out there, it was freezing and snowing. For the first 9 or 10 weeks, the battlegroup were on exercise almost solidly and then we had a glorious summer where we projected out across Estonia and integrated with the Estonian society. Then as the first flight for the Royal Welsh landed, it dropped about 10 degrees and the snow started coming in, which seemed sort of apt time to come home and see our families again!"

The troops were officially welcomed back to their Bulford barracks yesterday (Tuesday November 14th).

Their Royal Colonel, Sophie the Countess of Wessex was there to witness their homecoming parade and spent time with the trooops and their families

You can see photos and a video from that visit on our news page at www.spirefm.co.uk/news

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