26 Nations' Military Exercise To Demonstrate Ability To Rapidly Deploy For Combat In Europe


A U.S.-led multi-national military exercise involving 26000 troops from 26 nations will kick off on April 22.

This annual, nearly two-month long exercise will stretch across 10 European countries.

Nearly 9,000 American troops are expected to participate in the Defender 23 exercise, Deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh said during a briefing at the Pentagon.

In addition to the United States, troops from Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom will all take part in the military drill.

The Defender 23 exercise is led by U.S. Army Europe and Africa and has been planned since 2021. The exercise is designed to demonstrate the U.S. military’s ability to rapidly deploy combat-credible troops and equipment to assure allies, deter those who would threaten the peace of Europe and defend the continent from aggression, Sabrina Singh told reporters. The exercise also demonstrates the commitment of European nations to increase the scale, capability and interoperability of their own militaries, she added.

Singh said equipment to support the exercise began arriving this week in Spain. About 7,000 pieces of equipment were shipped to Europe from the U.S., she said. Additionally, about 13,000 pieces of equipment, drawn from pre-positioned stock, will be used during Defender 23.

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