NATO begins military exercises in Poland amid Russia’s bloody war with Ukraine
One of the United States Army’s largest, multinational, joint exercises has begun and will run from May 1 to May 27 along NATO’s eastern flank.
Regular exercises, supported by aircraft, tanks, artillery and armored assault vehicles, will take place on the eastern flank of the alliance as Russia’s war against Ukraine rages near there.
The exercises will take place in Finland, Poland, North Macedonia and along the Estonia-Latvian border. They will include troops from NATO and the Joint Expeditionary Force, which includes Finland and Sweden that are not NATO members.
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“A total of 18,000 soldiers from more than 20 countries will participate in the exercise…including about 7,000 people on Polish territory,” Poland’s defense ministry said last week.
The Polish military said in a statement that 18,000 troops from more than 20 countries are taking part in the ongoing Defender Europe 2022 and Swift Response 2022 exercises in Poland and eight other countries.
Poland, as one of the host countries of DE22, will feature soldiers from the 10th Armored Brigade, 17th Mechanized Brigade, 12th Mechanized Brigade, 2nd Mechanized Brigade, Cavalry Brigade 25th Airborne Brigade, 6th Airborne Brigade, 2nd Engineer Regiment, 5th Mechanized Brigade, 2nd Chemical Regiment, 9th Armored Brigade and Territorial Defense Force. The Polish Air Force will support the exercise with F-16s from the 2nd Tactical Aviation Wing, Su-22s from the 1st Tactical Aviation Wing and Mi-24 helicopters from the Luftwaffe. 1st Army Aviation Group.
DE22 training in Poland will be carried out continuously at the training areas in Drawsko Pomorskie, Bemowo Piskie and Żagań. In addition to the Polish army, forces from the US, France, Sweden, Germany, Denmark and the UK will also join the 5th Army Corps of the US Armed Forces responsible for command and control.
During the exercise, the soldiers’ joint combat ability will be tested in various forms of training including long-distance tactical operations, river crossings and live-fire training.
During the Quick Response exercise, the 6th Airborne Brigade will become the core of the forces conducting the airborne operation. About 550 Polish troops will be deployed to Lithuania and Latvia along with troops from the Czech Republic and German-Dutch forces.
The DE22 and SR 22 belong to a series of regular, defensive training. They are not directed against any country and are unrelated to the current geopolitical situation in the region. National and international planning for both exercises began in early 2021.
Deploying a large number of forces and equipment in these exercises requires the multifaceted commitment of the host nations.
Joint exercises like these help strengthen the security of NATO’s East Ridge through training that is aligned with NATO standards and procedures. They also allow these rules and standards to be adapted to meet new and emerging challenges in the contemporary battlefield to deter potential aggressors.
DEFENDER-Europe 22 represents the unshakable commitment of the United States to NATO and is a prime example of our collective competence. It shows that NATO allies and partners are stronger together.