APA – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization will hold military exercises dubbed Steadfast Defender 21 which will involve up to 9,000 servicemen, will be held on NATO’s southern wing, in particular Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Portugal, between May 20 and June 22 and will train redeployment of reinforcements from the US, Vice Chief of Staff at NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), Lieutenant General Brice Houdet told a briefing in Brussels on Thursday, APA reports citing TASS.
“The first phase of Steadfast Defender 2021 focuses on the rapid reinforcement of NATO’s European Allies by North American forces. This phase is led by Joint Force Command Norfolk and will include a maritime live exercise with around 5,000 forces and 18 ships, including the UK’s Carrier Strike Group led by HMS Queen Elizabeth. Meanwhile, a table-top part of the exercise will take part in Ulm, Germany. This will train and test the ability of NATO’s new Joint Support and Enabling Command to coordinate the speedy movement of Allied forces and equipment across European borders. Some 300 personnel will be involved in this part of the exercise. In late May, NATO’s annual Noble Jump will take place under the umbrella of Steadfast Defender 2021.This will see the deployment of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), led by Turkey, to Romania. Some 4,000 troops from 12 countries will be involved. Other associated exercises will take place in the region as well,” NATO said in a press statement.
Houdet underlined that the naval part of the drills will be focused on training of strategic redeployment of reinforcements from the US across the Atlantic Ocean to support allies in Europe. Later, the exercise plan envisages training of redeployment of NATO military units from the west to the southeast where the drills will take place.