One of the world's largest military exercises, led by the US and NATO, kicked off last week and will continue until June with 28,000 troops from 27 nations taking part. The Army Times website reported that Defender Europe 2021 will include various operations at 30 training sites around the continent.
Ahead of the exercise, an entire US Army division arrived in Europe. The Europe-Africa Command announced that operations will take place in the Balkans and the Black Sea region, and operations using maritime routes that bridge Europe, Asia and Africa will be practiced. The head of the Command, Gen. Christopher Cavoli, said the exercise, which is being held under COVID-19 restrictions, is vital as "our nations count on our forces being ready to defend the peace.”
The umbrella-type exercise is composed of a series of operations in the air, on land and at sea, including "Swift Response" (airborne operations in Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania), "Immediate Response" (live-fire training and logistics operations), and "Command Post Exercise" (2,000 troops from 14 countries).