The U.S. Army Public Affairs stated that preparations for DEFENDER-Europe 20, the largest exercise of U.S.-based military forces to Europe in more than 25 years, began yesterday when participating units will load vehicles, heavy equipment and materiel for rail transport and onward shipping.
Equipment will originate from Fort Hood, Fort Bliss and Fort Stewart with shipping through late February.
DEFENDER-Europe 20 and its associated exercises will increase strategic readiness and interoperability by exercising the U.S. military’s ability to rapidly move a large, combat-credible force of soldiers and equipment from the United States to Europe and, alongside its allies and partners, to quickly respond to a potential crisis.
Approximately 37,000 U.S., allied and partner-nation service members are expected to participate, with roughly 20,000 soldiers and 20,000 pieces of equipment deploying from the United States.
The joint, multinational training exercise is scheduled to take place from April to May 2020, with personnel and equipment movements occurring from February through July 2020. The exercise supports objectives defined by NATO to build readiness within the alliance and deter potential adversaries.
Participating units will include a U.S. Army division headquarters, three armored brigade combat teams, a fires brigade, and a sustainment brigade; as well as planned U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and Marine Corps participation. Some units will deploy with their equipment from the United States while other U.S.-based units will deploy and draw Europe-based Army Prepositioned Stock vehicles and equipment.
“Readiness is not only about having the right forces and capabilities in place throughout the theater, it’s about exercising our ability to quickly receive and integrate forces with our own and those of our allies and partners,” said Lt. Gen Christopher Cavoli, U.S. Army Europe commanding general. “This ability is critical in projecting force at a moment’s notice, our readiness reassures our allies and deters potential adversaries.”
Eighteen countries are expected to participate, with exercise activities occurring across 10 countries.
“Conducting tough, realistic training alongside our allies and partners in Europe enhances those professional relationships that build trust and confidence in each other and increases our overall interoperability, readiness and the ability to collectively deter potential threats,” Cavoli said.
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