Defender 2020 begins: 20,000 American troops are on their way to Europe

The largest transfer of American troops to Europe in 25 years

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Maciej Szopa

Approximately 20,000 American troops are on their way to Europe to take part in the Defender-Europe 2020 military exercises, in what will be the largest transfer of American troops to Europe in 25 years.

As tensions rise with Russia, Poland sees the international military exercises as a way to test its military and domestic response in the event of a conflict. The military exercises will take place in Poland and other locations across Eastern Europe from February to April 2020.

In an echo of the Cold War, today it is believed that in the case of a conflict requiring the defense of Europe, it will be vital to quickly transfer troops from the United States to Europe in a matter of only days.

Polish Minister of National Defense, Mariusz Błaszczak, U.S. Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher and high ranking officers of the Polish and U.S. armed forces participated in a briefing concerning Polish-American cooperation as part of the Defender-Europe 20 exercises.

“This is a confirmation of our joint commitment in the field of security. This is also an opportunity for the Polish army to test logistics, planning and coordination,” Błaszczak said.

The U.S. European command has also released a video to outline its commitment to its European allies.

The military exercises will try to simulate actual combat scenarios as closely as possible and will also feature paratroopers jumping into countries such as Poland.

Due to the logistic challenges of transferring American troops and military equipment to Europe in a short window of time, military leaders within Europe and the United States believe such military exercises are necessary to maintain readiness.

Joint maneuvers featuring 37,000 soldiers from 18 countries will ultimately be a part of the operations, including 2,000 troops from Poland.

Ambassador Mosbacher declared, that the Defender-Europe 20 exercises are proof of U.S. engagement in Europe and a confirmation of guarantees written into Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

Mosbacher emphasized the role of Poland in the exercises, which will take place in seven European countries. She pointed out that victory depends not only on the army, but also local communities whose representatives can “ask questions and discuss worries” during the briefing.

The Defender-Europe 20 program exercise is divided into 5 phases:

  1. Relocation – This phase is currently underway and encompasses the transfer of forces from the U.S. to Europe, with equipment arriving in warehouses in Belgium and Germany and then moving into exercise regions.
  2. Swift Response – This phase of the  exercise features aerial landing of troops between April and May in the Baltic States and Georgia.
  3. Command-staff exercise – The artillery DYNAMIC FRONT exercise will be conducted as part of this, among others.
  4. Joint exercise – in May, this phase will concern several smaller exercises conducted by particular countries with the involvement of American units.
  5. The return of US forces back to the United States.

Social media has also been abuzz with photos and messages from various countries participating in the Defender-Europe 2020 exercises.

The transfer of U.S. soldiers will include 6,000 vehicles, 1,500 tracked vehicles, and 2,500 equipment containers. These units will be transported to Poland via 90 railway and 20 maritime transports.

According to Defense24.pl, The Defender-Europe 20 program exercise is divided into 5 phases:

  1. Relocation – This phase is currently underway and encompasses the transfer of forces from the U.S. to Europe, with equipment arriving in warehouses in Belgium and Germany and then moving into exercise regions.
  2. Swift Response – This phase of the  exercise features aerial landing of troops between April and May in the Baltic States and Georgia.
  3. Command-staff exercise – The artillery DYNAMIC FRONT exercise will be conducted as part of this, among others.
  4. Joint exercise – in May, this phase will concern several smaller exercises conducted by particular countries with the involvement of American units.
  5. The return of US forces back to the United States.

Social media has also been abuzz with photos and messages from various countries participating in the Defender-Europe 2020 exercises, such as these soldiers in Britain.

The U.S. Army also shared a message on Twitter along with a video in support of the upcoming Defender 2020 program.


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