About 9,000 soldiers from more than 20 ally countries will take part in the next NATO maneuvers in Europe and the USA. The Steadfast Defender 21 exercises commenced on May 12 and are one of the largest exercises this year.
“Exercise Steadfast Defender 2021 will test NATO’s readiness and military mobility – with forces deployed across land and sea, all the way from North America to the Black Sea region and off the coast of Portugal,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “With over 9,000 troops, the exercise demonstrates that NATO has the capabilities and the resolve to protect all Allies against any threat,” he added.
? #SteadfastDefender21, NATO’s flagship exercise starts this month.
Over 9,000 troops and +20 Allies and partners strengthening their ability to work together pic.twitter.com/LxXALIE0DO
— NATO (@NATO) May 7, 2021
The first phase of the exercises is planned at the headquarters and will test the activities of two new NATO commands: in German Ulm and American Norfolk. Maritime exercises begin next week, with the participation of 5,000 people, 20 ships and 40 combat aircraft.
The final phase will consist of land maneuvers in Romania. “There will be 4,000 soldiers of rapid reaction forces training there and almost 600 vehicles will also take part. These are ground forces maneuvers combined with the use of artillery fire,” announced General Brice Houdet from the NATO command in Europe. Polish soldiers will participate in these land maneuvers.
The exercises begin a month after another escalation of violence in the Donbas region, when tens of thousands of Russian soldiers have been deployed at the border with Ukraine.
At the same time, other maneuvers are currently underway in Europe, led by the Americans “Europa Defender 21”. There are 28,000 soldiers taking part.